Footprints on my heart
I don't remember exactly when he came into my life.He was just always here.My grandfather was the most incredible person in the world.
Some days Papa,as I called him,and I would go down to a little creek that flowed into river and go fishing.He taught me how to cast,reel and the scariest of all,bait a hook.I remember that what it was like to catch my first fish,which Papa called a bluegill.For the first time in my life.I felt I had accomplished something useful.I was proud of myself.
Other days we had sit on the front porch in the rocking chairs he had made and talk.
But the thing I loved most was when we'd go out to the barn and he'd make things out of wood. He made me my first rocking horse when I was four.It wasn't anything fancy,but like me,Papa believed if it came from the heart,then that alone made it beautiful.
Above all,anything that could bother a seven-year-old was something that I could always talk to him about.Papa would set me on his knee and listen to me cry.He made the world go away with one hug.
Whenever I needed punishment,he always talked to me about what I had done.He would ask me why I made that mistake,while any other authority figure I knew went straight to physical punishment.He was the one person who had my respect,and who actually treated me with respect in return.
Something else I admired was that he didn't treat me like a girl who only related to pink ribbons and Barbies.He treated me like a person.
When I turn eight,a horrifying fact changed my life forever.That fact was death.
In September,they discovered that my Papa had cancer.It never sank in,even at his funeral the next February,that I'd never see his alive again.
The organizing six months of his sickness were long and cruel,especially to my grandmother,who could not talk without crying.I didn't konw what death was.It was too much for an eight-year-old,so I blocked it out.Whatever death was,it wasn't real to me.
Slowly,I learn I couldn't block it out.there were no more rodeos,no more fishing,no more horses and no one left to talk to.When I walked into my grandmother's house,there wss no longer the smell of the smoke mixed with coffee and sawdust, which was what Papa always smelled like.Everyone around me was sad,and I was learning what it was like to sad.
It finally hit me that he was gone.Things started getting rough guys and friends.I knew if Papa had been alive,he could've helped.Instead I faced the world alone,and believe me,there are many pressures from sixth grade to high school,and I missed Papa.Night after night,I would go to bed cry.
In seventh grade,I hung out with the wrong crowd.One morning,in the bathroom,a gril offered me a cigarette.All of a sudden,something clicked in my mind.Cigarettes are what had killed my Papa.
"No,"was my simple but strong reply.Regardless of their comments like "good girl" and "too-good".I stuck with my no smoking polichy.Since then,I have been offered cigarettes many times,and I have always replied with a simple "no."I wouldn't want to die of smoking.I wouldn't want my grandchilren feeling the way I did.
I was too young to figure out what a great model I had around me when he was alive.But I realize now.Papa is in every thought I have today.I still have all our special memories in my heart.He always made me believe in myself.Anything I do,he has influenced in some way.No one has ever or will ever have the patience he had with me.
His death taught me many lessons,but the one so harshly instilled in me is that no one,even someone as great as him,is invincible.