Friday, May 27, 2011

My Reflective Essay "My Papa"

Yes, yes, I am alive, barely, but i am alive none the less. I started school on April 21st again and since that day I've barely had time to breath much less blog, and FINALLY, i have a moment.

For my English class i am taking in school, i was asked to write a reflective Essay about something in my life that changed me....a significant moment if you will. This proved to be one of the most challenging things i have ever done.

A. Because I have NO skill when it comes to punctuation, which should be plainly obvious to you :) (see there i go, no period)

and

B. Because i always THOUGHT i was such a good writer....i mean look at me I BLOG!! Come to find out.....not so much.

But after learning about how to insert DETAIL into a story, descriptive information, i realized I had the POTENTIAL to be a great writer.

Anywho, i am posting my reflective essay below.....be forewarned u may need a tissue....I welcome any comments of constructive criticism, I love being challenged to be better, in any situation!! Enjoy!!

My Papa
My Papa was a plump, jovial, whiskey soaked, mischievous man, with an amazing heart and a laugh bordering on evil, which almost always meant he had something up his sleeve, just for you. However, on this dreary spring day in March of 2006, I did not see this animated man. When I walked into the stuffy, antiqued and extremely plain room painted in a deep hunter green, there I saw a frail, weak, and almost lifeless man grasping onto life by a thread. I was astounded at how quickly he had deteriorated, my stomach writhed and I had to turn away for a moment to gather myself. When I was finally able to look at him, I had a very difficult time looking away. What finally grabbed my attention was a familiar sound. It was the sound of the Adams family. The room was full of family. Every single member of Papa’s offspring was present except for his youngest great grandson, my son, Landon. As difficult as this day was for us, there seemed to be a great sense of peace.

I clearly remember tears of joy, falling only after laughing so hard at the memories they couldn’t be contained. Like the time he paid $3,500 dollars to an online dating service because “If I tried going to church, the roof would cave in.” I recall music, “Grandma’s in the cellar, Lordy can’t you smell’er baking biscuits on the derned ole dirty stoo oo oove”, a song we sang at almost every family gathering. And I hold dear those moments, where we were still, as if waiting to hear him say, “Come here, I wanna show you something”, a phrase he commonly used when getting ready to put you to work. You see, our family wasn’t waiting for him to pass; we were delighting in the time we had left.

Amidst all of the commotion; the talking, the singing, the laughter, there was a moment where it felt as if Papa and I were the only two people in the room. I was sitting on the couch between two of my brothers, Shaun, the eldest on my right, and Barret, born 9 years after me to my left, when I heard him begin to moan. It sounded as though he was trying to get someone’s attention, but I seemed to be the only one who noticed. It was haunting and cut right to the core of my soul. I looked around the room and considered maybe it was that everyone was always so used to his griping that they had learned to tune it out. Whatever the reason, I believe that I was meant to hear Papa, because it was me he was calling.

I got up from the old stale couch and ambled over to his bedside as if there was resistance against me. In my heart I knew what was coming, and although it was the last thing I wanted, something supernatural was directing my feet. I kneeled at his bedside, looked into his dull grey eyes, and placed my hand in his. “Papa, “ I whimpered. “It’s okay Papa, I’m here, we are all here,” I continued. “It’s okay to go, Granny is waiting, and Jesus is waiting for you,” I reminded him. It was then that I felt his cold clammy hand release mine, and I witnessed my beloved Papa pass away. I observed his chest rise while drawing in a deep purposeful breathe and fall as if breathing out all of his 83 years of life, for the last time. I immediately wanted to scream out “Wait!” “Don’t go!” But I was terribly shocked, I had just told him it was okay to go, and he listened.

For a moment I stood paralyzed and stared at the back of my Aunt Paula’s head. Aunt Paula is Papa’s eldest girl and after Granny’s death, back in 1999, has become the matriarch of our family. As such she has become the glue that has held our family together, telling her was the hardest thing I had ever done. I trembled as I reached across the bed to touch her shoulder. She was turned away from the bed engaged in all the story telling and laughter, and as soon as she turned to me the room fell silent.

“He’s not breathing, Aunt Paula” I choked.

“Daddy?” she cried, as she lightly shook his shoulders.

“Daddy?” she said again as she laid her head to his chest.

I moved to the foot of his bed where I joined hands with my own father, who suddenly looked defeated and sorrowful, and all the family gathered around. With out confirmation, we all knew he had surely left us. Tears began to flow as my Uncle Robbie began to play some of our favorite family songs. There was such an evident change in the mood of the room, even the children in the family, not quite old enough to really grasp the reality of the situation seemed to sense the finality. Although devastating, my family handled his passing with grace. That was such a testment to how truly strong they are. There was pain, however there was a peace knowing he was no longer suffering. It was a beautiful, special moment, one I will have engraved on my heart for eternity.

I have often thought about what I would do if I could rewind to the moments just before he let go. If I had that opportunity, I would tell him how very much he meant to me, and how his zest for life, and his dedication to his family has inspired me and propelled me to become the woman I was in that moment and the woman I am today. Since that day, I have made an effort to not take for granted the moments in life where there is opportunity for kindness, love, or compassion. And most importantly I have been deliberate about righting the wrongs between myself, and someone I love.

Had my Papa been able to speak in his last moments, I picture him sitting up in his hospital bed wearing his HM Jr. Auto sales hat on his round bald head, and his Chevy trucks windbreaker on his back saying a phrase he would say as a car salesman to his clients as they left the show room floor, his mantra, that later became his goodbye,



“Tell em where you got it !”







3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi~Thank you for posting your reflective essay. Im homeschooling my daughter and I needed an example. I came across your essay and thought it was perfect for her. I wanted one with depth and emotion, and your essay has both.~Thank you--Tara McManus

Staci said...

thank you tara! I must give credit to my english professor, she was AWESOME! her process helped sooo much! thanks again

Anonymous said...

I love this. Your writing has deep meaning full of emotion. Thank you for your story, its awakining.