effect, immense, shimmer

Grandpa's Hands - By John White
They were yelling at me. Screaming at me. I was crying from a punch in the stomach.

My grandpa sat, 83 and frail, quietly at the kitchen table, caught in the midst of a dysfunctional horror show.

"Go to your room" my mom said.

"Fucking bitch" said my brother.

My grandpa sat quietly at the kitchen table.

"How is this my fault!" I screamed, hysterical, still sick from the punch in my stomach, I ran to my room.

An hour passed, and the house was quiet. My brother was gone; my mom had gone to bed. My grandpa sat quietly at the kitchen table.

I walked in, and he slid a piece of paper towards me.

I don't know why they are mean to you.
You should tell them to stick their head in a snow-blower.
You are loved.
I love you.
My grandpa, who could not fight them with his voice or his strength, lifted me up with his words and his love. He taught me I was worthy of love. Taught me I was worthy of hugs.

The effect of his teachings was HOPE.

Hope for something more.

When he died I ran away, lived on the streets for a year, unwilling to go home without him there.

His love brought me home. His love made me realize I was worthy of help. Help I received as I moved from group homes to foster care, knowing he was there. Watching me. Cheering me on. Giving me strength. Guiding me towards a life of immense beauty.

But that night, after the yelling, the violence, and the crying…in the dim light of the kitchen, I sat on his lap. I put my head on his shoulder. He called me his little Chickadee, and his love made the room shimmer.


  1. all it takes, is one person like your grandfather in one's life, to make the difference...

  2. This made me cry, just so touching, real and so very well written x

  3. So very beautiful and touching. The note is just... so incredibly beautiful. Well done.

  4. Everyone needs a hero in their lives for support and comfort.

  5. Fond memories of an important figure, well told.

  6. Dear PP: The usage of the three words meshed synchronistically with the storyline. There is always hope when there is a caring Grandpa that calls you Chicadee. Excellent dialogue, realistic and intensely dramatic.
    "his love made the room shimmer." Memorable!

  7. I love this! I can actually picture all of this happening. Thank goodness for grandfathers - especially ones like yours.

  8. how beautiful and poignant... how a little love can change everything... real estate

  9. This is such a beautiful story - sad, but beautiful, and reminds me of my own traumatic childhood and the unconditional love of grandparents.

    Lovely writing.

  10. heart-wrenchingly gorgeous...broken and whole.

  11. Excellent writing and compulsive reading.

  12. I had grandparents like this, too. I don't know who I'd be without their influence and love.