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ImageMy grandfather never spanked me. Something he did do once, and only once, was infinitely worse.

When I was in sixth grade, at the end of every day I walked the fifty feet to the parking lot to look for my grandfather’s baby blue station wagon. Most days, he would come pick me up from school. One day in particular, I didn’t see his car, so I caught the bus. The ride home only took ten minutes, we didn’t live far from the school. When I walked through the front door into the kitchen, my grandmother asked, “Where’s your Paw-Paw?”

I could feel my confused expression imitating hers. “I don’t know. I caught the bus.” My grandfather had retired due to heart attacks and strokes, and the flash of panic that briefly stole across my grandmother’s features was not lost on me. For a twelve year old, I was incredibly observant. The next half hour of my life dragged on endlessly as we waited to find out what happened to him. Maw-Maw had called one of my uncles to go find him, hoping that they wouldn’t find him in a ditch.

The knot in my throat didn’t budge when he walked through the door, even though I knew he was okay. What came next nearly killed my little heart. To this day, two decades later, I still feel that knot when I think about it. He had been waiting for me in the parking lot at the school, somehow I’d missed the car when I looked for it. With his six foot plus frame, it only took a second for his single stride to bring him across the room to me.

He dropped to his knees in front of me and grabbed me in the tightest hug he could manage without injury. When he pulled back, I saw his tears. He held me by my shoulders and said, “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.” I never did.

Published in Random Rambling

Jess

Jessica West (West1Jess) is pursuing a state of self-induced psychosis (reading, writing, editing). She lives in Acadiana with three daughters still young enough to think she's cool and a husband who knows better but likes her anyway.

0 Comments for "A Fate Worse Than Spanking"

  • jabe842

    Thanks for posting 🙂 x

    Reply
  • celenagaia33

    I did this to my grandmother once. Got into the dog kennel where their German shepherd, Dreyfus, was. He jumped up, as was his wont; whammed both front paws on my shoulders for a dog-hug. I was only seven, got knocked backwards; screamed loudly. My nanna came running to let me out. Grandad came up from the lower kennels; utterly white. He was holding his chest. He has heart problems.

    My nanna looked me right in the eye, made me swear never to do that again. To leave the bigger dogs alone. I’d never heard her speak so quietly, she was so angry, and disappointed. My heart broke. I’ve never forgotten that lesson.

    Reply
    • Jessica West

      Those are the ones that stick with you. I was so terribly spoiled, especially by my grandfather. To know that I’d scared him so badly, and worse to see the tears in his eyes, oh it just broke my little heart. But through those memories, I’ve found a way to keep him with me. I think that’s why he keeps sneaking into my writing, so he can still be a part of my life.

      Reply
      • celenagaia33

        Beautiful response as ever, Jess. I so hear you. xx

        Reply
  • Angel Fridholm

    I too was very close to my Grandpa and to ever see him hurt would’ve been the worst tragedy. I could make him smile and I would sit on his jacket and make him stay inside and tell me stories for hour after hour. He was stubborn as was I!

    Reply
    • Jessica West

      My grandfather believed there was no such thing as a spoiled child, so naturally, I wasn’t spoiled. 😉 To see him that scared made me feel horrible. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about it. He never would have done it, but I would have preferred the spanking.

      Thanks for reading, Angel! I miss the gang from BWW. Best wishes to you!

      – JP

      Reply

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