The Voice | Teen Ink

The Voice

December 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Going over to my grandparent’s house was always an exciting time when my brother, sister and I were younger. Not only during the chaotic and crazy times of our family gatherings like holidays and birthdays like when all my other extended family members came over. Most of my cousins felt forced to come and spend time with my family and our mama and papa, but I never felt that way about our visits. I loved every drive to Benton. We would fly past the skating rink and the old pink shoe store that I remember so vividly. My mom would always point out the house across from the day care because one of her childhood memories was sitting on the front lawn, a large statue of an elephant. She would point to it while driving and say, “I would love to have that one day.” I remember wanting to save my money and buy it for her. Then I would remember that I was ten and had no money, so that idea was just left to linger in the back of my brain. I then would refocus back to where my big white van was taking my family and me. The house that I loved and longed to arrive to sooner due to the overwhelming amount of love and attention that was consumed by its inhabitants’.

My family and I finally would turn onto their street and a smile would shoot across my face once I could see their personalized mailbox. I was always the first one out of the van, walking up to the back porch, crunching every fallen orange and yellow leaf in my path. As soon as I opened the back door all that was in my vision was hundreds of collectable dolls and figurines. If I was ever to visit a museum of dolls, I was positive this is what it would look like. Some I starred at from behind glass cases, while some stood as tall as my little sister. There was one doll though, that I was mesmerized by. It was placed in the corner and stood wearing a crimson ruffled dress, shiny black shoes with hair to match. I stood in awe for a moment, looking at all of the other dolls before naming that doll my mommy doll, because it reminded me so much of her.

After walking through the foyer where my mama’s favorite collectables gathered dust, I entered a new and fascinating room where my I could hear my name being called. As soon as I turned the corner I peaked into a warm and oddly smelling room. The smell was strange yet familiar. As I walked further into the room I realized it was dark, with only the sunlight streaming through the curtains. When I glanced around the room a very large mirror covered with pictures and jewelry caught my attention. Beneath the mirror were more trinkets of smaller dolls and horses. I was so wrapped up in the new room that I didn’t even hear my mom yelling my name now.

After I closed the door my mom rushed in and picked me up. She seemed very cautious not to break anything while she swung me around to the living room to set me down on the loveseat. I quietly sat while there were conversations going on around me between my parents and my grandparents. I had no idea what they were talking about so I sat there listening like it was my job. My mama would sit in her chair chatting with my mom about God knows what, and my dad would pretend he was listening with his focus on who was winning the football game. My brother and sister sat on the large blue carpet and looked around at the ornate decorations on the walls, while I was infatuated with all of the family photos. Until I saw him. The tall man that was my papa. I looked up at him awaiting a loving greeting. Instead he stood there with a half smile on his face and looked into my big eyes. I began wondering why he did not greet me. My mama ran to me like I was the only grandchild she had, but he did nothing.

I was upset, so I walked away. He followed me into the kitchen, where he found me whimpering as I opened the wooden doors to the walk in pantry. I had just about closed the double doors when a long arm stretched in creating a gap. He pushed open the doors and found my standing in the corner still whimpering. I was frightened as he walked over to me and patted my head. With his hand still patting the crown of my head he pulled his other hand out of his pocket and raised it to his throat. I had no idea what he was doing. I starred up at him and noticed a large hole in the middle of his throat for the fist time. I stood there confused still while he was sticking his pointer finger into the hole. The next thing I heard besides my sniffling was a feeble and raspy voice. The voice was directed toward me and was coming from the tall man. My papa had spoken to me for the first time. It was almost inaudible but it was coming from the man that I wanted to hear speak so badly. Although I was frightened at first when he did not speak to me, I later realized why he had a tough time with talking to anyone. My papa had been a smoker for most of his adult life and quit when his doctor discovered the cancer in his throat. The cancer caused my papa to struggle with speaking to me then because his voice box had to be removed completely. And even though I could not understand him, I was so thankful for his raspy words. They were the words of a kind and gentle man that would impact my life then while he was on this earth, and would continue to impact me while he is with his Maker.

I spent the rest of that day lying in my papa’s lap holding his hands and ignoring all other noises of the house. I could no longer hear the sound of the fans or the consistent ramble of my parents and my mama. The only sound I could hear was the incomparable voice of my papa.

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This article has 2 comments.

babyguurl said...
on Feb. 8 2009 at 6:50 pm
That is soooo good!! i ABSOLUTELY <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333ed it!

thefirstday said...
on Jan. 15 2009 at 8:41 pm
Hey, Brittany. I'm Rachell :D

You asked me to read this and i thought it was very lovely and beautiful. You are lucky that you can drive to your grandparent's house, though it is interseate. All my relatives live overseas. It sucks because i haven't been able to get as close to them as i'd like, and i can tell from your story that you have.