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Here's part one...
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Old 18 Nov 2005, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Here's part one...

It kinda sucks. I'm not sure if I will be writing anymore because I don't really like looking back.


I spent the first eight years of my life living in a small town called Cooper City in southern Florida. Forgive me if my years are inaccurate as my memory is not the work of art one would expect from a boy of just fifteen years. Most of my time in Cooper City was spent with my sister (who is two years younger than me), my half sister (ten years older), my mom, and my dad.

Growing up in Cooper City with my family left me with only two things to do, play with the neighborhood kids or dream of playing Florida Gators football. I had a tendency to balance them out on a 60:40 ratio. The sixty being the dreaming of playing for the Gators under the 'Ole Ball Coach, of course. I was bound to be a great player. Honest, I was. I mean, how couldn't I have been any good? After all, my family had a history of football players. My dad was an All-Star starting running back in high school and my great grandfather was a starting tight end for the Clemson Tigers. The geans never seemed to get to me though. It was if the only strand of DNA missing from my body was the athletic strand. Don't get me wrong, I love to play sports. It's just that I'm no good. I never was either.

I was always the tall kid in school, I was always picked first or second for games because the captains had come to the conclusion that since I was tall, I must be good. That left too much pressure on me and often lead to disappointment for my teammates. To this day, I still dream of playing football for the Florida Gators and not a day goes by that I don't regret not joining the football team my Freshman or Sophomore year of high school.

I don't remember much about life in Cooper City. However, one evening in particular sticks out in my mind. In fact, I can still hear the phone ringing and see my mom's tears as she was told that her father had died of a heart attack. I hadn't known what had happened. I was six years old. Little did I know that the woman that sat in front of me was now an orphan (her mother had died in a car crash when my mom was just fourteen years old). The part about the call that was so life changing for me was that my great grandfather, who was previously living with my grandfather before his death, would be moving in with us. He would be living with five other people in our four bedroom house.

My parents built my great grandfather a bedroom in the garage. Looking back, I'm not sure if that was legal or not seeing as we lived in a gated community with a very strict homeowner's association. What did they care though? My parents were rule breakers... my mom was at least. Maybe that's what attracted my dad to her. Maybe she completed him. I don't know, I prefer not to think back to those times. They remind me too much of how I wish my life still was... happy and easy.

Before I finished third grade, my mom had fallen in love with a house in Davie... a town that was only ten minutes away from where I had lived in Cooper City. The house was beautiful. It was an old English Tutor style house that sat on two acres of land. I had never seen a house quite as large or as architecturally sound as the one that my mom had loved. There was one problem with the house, it was empty and old. There were no floors, no carpet, no electricity, no water, no air conditioning, the pool was literally black; infested with everything from Banana spiders to boxer briefs to beer bottles. No one lived in it. No one had lived in it for over ten years. The owner lived in central Florida and would come down every other weekend or so to trim the grass and such. My mom was a realtor at the time and used her real estate programs to track down the owner. He didn't want to sell. I believe it took my parents two or three months to finally convince the owner to sell us the house. We bought it for somewhere around two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Needless to say, the first year or so of living in that house were absolute hell for me. I was young and terrified of change. Moving to this house meant that I would have to change schools. Because of that, I don't think I ever fully appreciated the beauty of the house or how fortunate I was to be able to live there. Looking back, I realize how well my parents had fixed that house and how much heart they put into it. Someday, I hope to buy that house back for my family.

I have one specific memory of that house that I will never forget, my dad's surprise fourtieth birthday party. I don't think he ever saw it coming until he drove home to find fifty plus cars parked in the driveway. We had a DJ and a full liquor bar. It was only fitting that my mom had flown my older sister in from Atlanta to bartend. I believe the party lasted until around four in the morning and I think the cops stopped by twice. I don't think any adult at that party had been sober. It was fun... that's what my parents liked.

One of the hardest moments for me was when my great grandfather had passed away. Perhaps it was for the better, after all, he was losing his mind. I can remember nights when he would ask me for a book of matches to light the stove. I can remember when he would ask me for a gun to shoot himself. I remember when he would accuse my dad of sleeping with his wife (he thought that my mother was his wife at times). The man had always made me laugh with his use of the "n" word however. He wasn't racist by any means, however, he was raised on a farm in North Carolina, he hadn't known any better. There were times when we would go out to dinner and our waiter would be black. If he needed the waiter, he would say to the hostess "can you get that nigger over here?" I was young, yet I found it funny. In one instance, we were watching a Cowboys game and he said to me "that Smith nigger's pretty good, ain't he?".

I had seen pictures of him when he was younger. He was a strong, tall man. He could very well have been a relative of Paul Bunyan's. Yet, here now was this old and weak man. A man that couldn't remember his own name or his own grandson. It made me sad. It made me sad to come home everyday afraid that he wouldn't wake up from his constant sleep. Then my parents put him in a home. It couldn't have been a longer than a month later that my mom had gotten a call from the home saying that my great grandfather had slipped and fallen. The call came a day or two after a hurricane had hit somewhere near us. The first reaction of my mother's was to get in the van and drive to the home. Unfortuneatly, the streets were flooded and her van got stuck. The fire department took us home. A few hours later we got the call that my great grandfather had died. Not a day goes by that I don't wish that I could've been at my great grandfather's bed side to say good night to him one last time. He was the only person that could sit there and listen to me for hours. He was my best friend. A 97 year old man was my best friend, and like that, he was gone. I never had a chance to say good bye.
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Old 19 Nov 2005, 12:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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not bad Sammy...

its good, but your writing shows your inexperience. You should write the whole thing out first, then revise it...

Its a solid effort tho.

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Old 19 Nov 2005, 03:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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(Not sarcastic in any way.)
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