This I Believe

Ryan - Webster, New York
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

“Don’t worry Ry, I’ve been at this for over 50 years. You just started last night.” My grandfather said those words many years ago when he first taught me how to play euchre, the game of the gods he called it. We’d play 15 cents a point, 25 cents a euchre, and every night…I would undoubtedly lose to a great extent. Five dollars was the average damage to my stout piggy bank, but somehow it would always make its way back into my funds. And every night I would go through the same routine and lose, what I thought was just five dollars out of an unlimited stock pile of money I had accumulated over the years. But little did it know, every night my grandfather would sneak back into my room and, very quietly, slip my money back into my bank. And I, being a naive seven year old, didn’t realize what has happening with my money until he had passed away. I believe that one person is enough to change your life, and shape you into who you are today.

Now my grandfather was not the most wealthy man on this planet. To be honest, he was evicted from his home and had to live with us. And every couple days he would talk of how he would get enough money to buy a place of his own again. The years spent living with my grandfather were some of the best in my life. At least once a day I would talk about how much I wanted a party at the bowling alley, with four or five of my friends. After living with my family for four years, he bought a house for my grandmother and himself. Well after I forgot about the bowling party I longed for over the never ending years.

When I awoke on the morning of the eight, two days after my birthday, I was greeted by five of my closest friends when I went down stairs still half asleep, not expecting anything more than twin slices of rye toast to start my day. My mother said to get ready or I would miss the beginning of my party. Suddenly everything started to piece together. “Grandpa told us he organized this party for you the night of your birthday, and to make sure everything was ready,” said my mom when I came down stairs. Waiting for my grandfather was the most agonizing emotion running through my veins during my bowling extravaganza. After a while I just gave up on worrying and went on enjoying my party. My mother kept saying she was sure he would be here any minute now, but he never came. He wouldn’t come, because he couldn’t come. Alexander McKelvie died that day due to a heart attack. March 8, 1999. That was the date on which my ninth birthday party fell. That was the day my grandfather was attacked by his heart.