My Rock

Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

My grandpa was the rock in my difficult childhood. He was my soft place to land. He was there to support me.

When I turned 10, he moved to New Mexico to live with his brother. It was difficult for me. It was a visceral pain that took me a while to deal with.

Not long after his return, he had to move into a nursing home. He had rectal cancer. We went to visit him often. To my twelve-year-old mind, he would always be there waiting for my visit. It was easier to have him there than across the country.

One night, around two, the phone rang. My room was closest to the phone, so I stumbled out and answered it. It was my aunt. I could hear the hitch in her voice as she answered me.

“Pookie, your grandpa passed away. Can I talk to your mom?”

I got my mom and went to my room as they talked.

The world stopped breathing that night.

The funeral was three days later, and our large family and all his friends showed up. The tears flowed freely from every eye but mine.

I felt guilty because I couldn’t cry. I loved my grandpa, but I couldn’t cry over his death because I was afraid I would never stop if I ever started.

The world hiccupped along for several years after a while, but it was never quite right until I was an adult. As an adult life got busy, and it was easier most of the time. Sometimes, the memories come back and, it is easier than before.

It’s that occasional hiccup that still hurts.



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Paula Dotson Frew

Paula Dotson Frew


I love to write and self-published my first book of poetry last year, a book of Haiku this year, and a book of short stories later this year!