November 8, 2012, 6:11 AM
Dad: Hey, this is Dad. Have you been in touch with my dad, Grandpa? He has been trying to get in touch with you. Let me know. Love you!
November 8, 2012, 7:02 PM
Me: I haven?t. I think he may have the wrong number, and I don?t have his number
November 10, 2012, 4:09 PM
Grandpa: Hey, Trent! This is Grandpa!
Me: Oh, hey!
Grandpa: Hey! How's school going?
Me: It's going good! I've been getting good grades like usual.
Grandpa: That's good! Your cousin, Brandon, hasn't gotten to take is license test because of his bad grades.
Me: That sucks! I just got my permit a few weeks ago.
Grandpa: Congratulations! How have you been doing?
Me: I've been doing well! I haven't gotten in any wrecks, yet.
Grandpa: Well, that's good. Hey, you remember how Donnie, my husband, was really sick a while ago?
Me: Poppy? Yeah!
Grandpa: I hate to say, but the doctors have predicted that he won't live to see Thanksgiving.
Me: Oh . . .
Grandpa: And I was wondering if you could be a pallbearer, one of the people who carry the casket, for me.
Me: Yes, of course. I would love to.
Grandpa: Thank you so much. You don't know how much this means to me.
Me: Of course! I'll do anything for you.
Grandpa: Just think about it over this week and try to get back to me to give me a complete and final answer.
Me: Of course.
Grandpa: Thank you so much.
Me: Yeah . . .
Grandpa: Okay, I guess I'll let you go . . .
Grandpa: I love you, and so does Poppy.
Me: I love you too, and tell Poppy that I love him as well.
November 16 7:50 AM
Brandon: Trent, text me at my mom's phone. Please!
November 17, 2012, 3:22 PM
Me: Brandon told me to text him from here.
Aunt Tiffany: Trent
Aunt Tiffany: Have you talked to your dad today?
Aunt Tiffany: So you know about Poppy?
Me: Did he pass today?
Aunt Tiffany: Call me, okay. This is Tiff.
November 16, 2012, 3:28 PM
Aunt Tiffany: Hey, Trent! This is Aunt Tiffany!
Me: Hey, Aunt Tiffany.
Aunt Tiffany: So, you know how Poppy was in a bad condition, right?
Aunt Tiffany: Well, he passed away a little today.
Me: Oh . . .
Aunt Tiffany: Yeah, we all took it hard here. The funeral is supposed to be on Monday.
Me: I know Dad had planned for us to go to South Carolina for two days, but I'm sure we aren't going to do that. So I'll probably be going.
Aunt Tiffany: Yeah, I was just making sure you knew.
Me: Thank you so much for telling me.
Aunt Tiffany: Yeah, I figured it would be difficult for Grandpa to tell you right now, and I knew you needed to know. Do you want to talk to your cousins?
Me: I don't think I can talk to anyone too much right now.
Aunt Tiffany: Okay. I'll tell them that you were not able to talk to them. I guess I'll let you go.
Aunt Tiffany: Good-bye.
A Light in Dark Events
November 17, 2012, 5:15 PM
I walk up to the house of some family friends of my father. Their house is where I'll be staying over the Thanksgiving holiday week. My father heard the car door slam shut as I leave my mother's car and walks outside with a smile.
"Hey, son," he says.
"Hey, Dad," I reply.
"How have you been?" he asks me.
"I've been pretty busy, but I'm excited for a whole week off of school," I tell him.
We walk inside. Dad tells me to put my things in the room I?ll be staying in. I walk back to the living room after I drop my things off. Dad is in the back yard playing with the dog, Sadie.
"Come outside with us," my stepmother tells me.
So we walk outside. My dad threw Sadie's bone across the yard. She gallops down the leaf-covered grass. She looks like a blur of white, brown, and black as she runs past us. She finally settles down close to us. She lies down and looks up at me with her box-like nose. We took her from a shelter. Her previous owner's house burned down, and he had to give Sadie up. We think that he was abusive, because Sadie was skittish around males. We think that she is a mixture of a Border Collie and a Labrador Retriever. She looks beautiful, probably one of the prettiest dogs I've ever laid eyes upon. My dad, stepmother, and I sit down in chairs.
"So, we have news to tell you," Dad tells me.
"News?" I asked a bit worriedly. The usual news I ever receive from my dad is sad. It's usually about him going to be deployed, or a death in the family.
"This is actually good news, though! Not like the typical sad news I give you," he says.
"Okay, good," I say as a sigh of relief escapes my mouth.
"Do you want to tell him, Tammy?" Dad asks my stepmother.
"Sure," she begins, "So you know how you've been asking about us having kids?"
"Yeah," I say.
"Well," she smiles, "I'm pregnant, with twins!"
"Wow!" I exclaim, "Twins?"
"Yeah! I'm having twins," she exclaims.
We go inside. I have a wide smile across my face. They show me a few pictures of my soon-to-be siblings.
November 19, 2012, 5:45 PM
Dad parks the tan Tahoe on the side of the funeral home. We walk in through the sides, and into the foyer. We are the first ones there. My father, stepmother, and I were standing in the foyer. We aren't allowed in the room where Poppy is until 6 o'clock.
"Everyone should be here soon," my dad says.
People walk in through the front doors. People who claim to know me give me hugs and bless me. Grandpa walks in and I rush over to hug him, since I know we both need it. He's in tears as I grab him. Tears escape our eyes and into each other's shoulder. We release one another after a while. I walk over to my dad and watch a video of photographs in dedication of Poppy.
A lady tells us that it is time for everyone to walk into the room Poppy is in. We file in, and tears flood everyone's eyes. Dad hugs me, for is in more loss than I am. Poppy has been in Dad's life much longer than Poppy has been in mine.
Poppy's parents are in loss of words when they see his being. I was shocked as well. Last time I saw him, which was about a year ago, he was thicker. Now, he is thin, very thin. It shocked me at how much his physical appearance changed over the year. His character, however, was something I know to be unalterable. I look at everything around him. He had an Elvis Presley disk in his hands. He had a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. He had a race car on his side. He had pictures of his family. I spotted people I knew, including myself. He had everything that he loved in his casket with him. I look at the top of the opened part of the casket. I see "Going Home" threaded in it. The words are carried by doves. I walk away, giving others a chance to see him.
After what seemed to be forever of grieving, everyone was out of tears to run. I had to keep thinking that Poppy was in a better place. He was in so much pain before his death. It is better that he doesn't need to suffer anymore. Everyone started chatting about all of the fun times they had with Poppy. By 8 o?clock, people started to file out of the building. My dad, stepmother, and I were the last to leave.
November 18, 2012, 9: 55 AM
We walk in the same funeral home as last night. Grandpa walks up to me.
"Here is your boutonniere to wear during the funeral," he says to me.
He hands me a white flower with a short stem that has a small pin stuck in it. I pin it to my pocket on my tuxedo. A short, younger lady guides the group of six pallbearers to the front left pew of the room where the service will be held. We sit down, with me in the far left. I know only one other pallbearer. That pallbearer was my cousin, one year older than me.
Everyone files in and sits down where they wish. Poppy's mother seemed to be dysfunctional, just as her husband. They sit in the front, with tears flooding their eyes already. The priest stands in the front. We say a prayer and he gives the stage to Grandpa. Grandpa recalls all of the fun times he had with Poppy. All of the stories gave us a good laugh. Poppy's parents were still too debilitated to give a speech.
So with that, the pallbearers got up and carried the casket to the hearse. We slowly slide the casket in the back. Everyone else files out of the side and enter their cars. I meet up with my father and we head out into the line of cars and go to the cemetery with our hazard lights on. We drive through an endless line of graves until we finally reached a green tent.
I get out of the car and go to the hearse. We get the casket and place it on a contraption that will lower Poppy?s body into the earth. The pallbearers set the boutonnieres on the top of the casket and get in a line behind the casket. The priest emits another prayer and says a few more words. After that, some people left immediately. Others, like me, stayed behind and chatted a little. We talked about Poppy and how he's in a better place and how he wouldn't want us to grieve too much over his death. After a while, everyone finally left, except my father, stepmother, grandfather, and I. We say our goodbyes and we leave the despairing cemetery. I watch as the green tent gets smaller and smaller until I can no longer see it.
Author's Note: I would like to dedicate this to my grandfather, known as Poppy, who is in a better place now.
When I was scanning my grandfather's casket, I noticed doves carrying the words, "Going Home". I'm not at the level to do that much, but I decided to try a single dove flying above the words, "Going Home". Sorry if it's a little dull. I couldn't find a better utensil.