Grandpa’s Illness

narrative Essay
1432 words
1432 words

Grandpa’s Illness

As usual I woke up to the sound of my father pounding on my bedroom door, hollering, “Get up! Get on your feet! You’re burning daylight!” I met my brother in the hallway, and we took our time making it down the stairs, still waking up from last night’s sleep. As we made our way to the kitchen, I thought about what to have for breakfast: fried eggs, pancakes, an omelet, or maybe just some cereal. I started to get hungry. As usual, mom and dad were waiting in the kitchen. Mom was ready to cook whatever we could all agree on, and dad was sitting at the table watching the news. The conversation went as usual, “Good morning.” “How are you today?”

Then the phone rang and Dad answered it. It was hard to tell what the conversation was about, it did not last long and Dad didn’t say much. When he hung up he was quiet. Then Mom asked, “Who was that, honey?” Blunt and to the point he said, “Grandma,” (his mom) “Grandpa got sick last night.” Suddenly I was not hungry any more. “What’s that mean?” Mom asked, taking the words right out of my mouth. Dad did not really know. All Grandma said was that Grandpa got up in the night, went to the bathroom, and then yelled for help before collapsing. She called 911 and an ambulance came and got him. From the hospital in Spirit Lake he was life-flighted to Sioux Falls.

During the drive to Sioux Falls all I could think about were all the happy times spent at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s lake house on West Okoboji. I thought about how Grandpa would entertain all of his grandkids in the speed boat and then take us back to the house for a beer. All that was changing, there would probably be no more speed boating and no more beer.

When my family and I arrived at the hospital we ru...

... middle of paper ...

... a smile came across his face, a smile that for three weeks, I thought I was never going to see again. Unfortunately, his struggle with alcohol was just beginning. To this day he attends AA meetings and is doing great. The days of speed boating have continued, but there is no more beer drinking. For his grandkids, not much has really changed, except Grandpa’s health has improved. He has more energy and a better outlook on life. I think the experience helped him realize that his motto “Quality over Quantity” is not concrete and that there needs to be a balance between the two. We cannot get by on just the pleasures in life because it isn’t fair to our loved ones we have to compromise and make sacrifices in order to keep our health.

Works Cited All the Right Words. 1997-2001. 30 Sept. 2003.


In this essay, the author

  • Recounts how they woke up to the sound of their father pounding on their bedroom door, hollering, "get up! get on your feet!
  • Narrates how the phone rang and dad answered it. it was hard to tell what the conversation was about, and he didn't say much.
  • Narrates how they thought about the happy times spent at grandma's and grandpa’s lake house on west okoboji. then, there would be no more speed boating and beer.
  • Describes how they rushed to the information desk and asked grandpa what room he was in. they followed the signs and eventually came to a waiting room.
  • Narrates how grandpa had an ulcer that bled out because of some medication he was taking. he gasped for air and inhaled the vomit, which put his lungs in pretty bad shape.
  • Explains that grandpa lay in the hospital bed for three weeks, suffering from the discomfort of the respirator crammed down his throat, and after the first three days he started to go through withdrawal symptoms.
  • Opines that it was hard to see grandpa handcuffed to the bed like a wounded prisoner. frost sums up everything they've learned about life: it goes on.
  • Opines that the decision to put grandpa back on life support was up to the family.
  • Explains that grandpa's gamble paid off and he was awake and coherent within a week. his struggle with alcohol was just beginning. he attends aa meetings and is doing great.
Get Access