Dr. Benre’s comments: Marty paints a telling portrait of her step-grandfather, but never relies merely on telling the reader. Small anecdotes about her grandfather, as well as some of his habits, gave Marty’s story a much more powerful presentation that it would have if she had simply told the readers that he was neat and kind. More importantly, she maintains a significance to her story which travels from beginning to end. She uses her story to play on emotions without crossing the line into melodrama and makes a telling point in her conclusion. Marty has written an excellent story, not just an essay about someone she remembers.
Though he was an overwhelming three hundred pounds, my grandfather was a very neat, well-kept, respected man. His thick, ash colored hair always had to be just right. From the direction of the part to the brand of hairspray which held it in place, everything had to be just so. His shirt was always tucked in, and his belt always matched his shoes. Because of his huge girth, he had a seventy-eight inch waist, his legs reminded me of a penguin's— short and stubby. Everything about him amused me—from his love for the holidays to the way he continuously chewed ice and the incessant manner he had of rubbing his feet together.
Although he was my father's stepfather, he loved us as if we were his own. Several times throughout the year, he would organize what he called "family time," which involved all thirteen grandchildren who gathered in one place to socialize. He also had a great love for holidays. For example, we all spent Christmas Eve on the levee looking at the bonfires, and for days preceding Christmas, we rode through town enjoying the ...
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... day he died, he taught me a valuable lesson. If we love someone, we should tell the person often. I sometimes wonder if he knew just how much we loved him. All I have left are the memories we shared and the lessons he taught me, but they are good memories, and they are exceptional lessons. My grandfather was an astonishing man.
Unfortunately, my son will never get to meet my grandfather, but I will instill in him the love for people my grandfather so diligently instilled in me. I never looked at him as "fat" or "different." I simply viewed him as more to love. Even though he is not physically with me anymore, I still do things with him in mind, wondering if he would approve or disapprove; I try to make the choice I think he would admire. He taught me life; he taught me love; and he taught me what was right. This remarkable man is my idol--my grandfather.
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