On Top of Cobble Hill
by: Grace P.

“Yes, his grave can go right next to my mom’s,” said Sabrina to the cemetery keeper. It was a cold and drizzly autumn morning, and the swamp mallows were just starting to open. My mom and I stood in the Cobble Hill Cemetery, next to Cobble Hill Church, where we Madreaux’s have been buried for generations. You might be asking yourself why a young man and his mother would be standing in a cemetery on a morning such as this. Well, it’s because my grandfather, Chris, just died yesterday.

 

“Andy, don’t sulk sweetheart,” said Sabrina. “I know that it was sudden, but your Grandpa Chris is in a better place now, you know that.”

 

“Yeah,” I answered even though nowadays, I was starting to think other wise.

 

My mom turned to talk to the keeper again, but I didn’t want to hear any more so I put in my iPod and looked down at my favorite pair of high top Converse, moist with the morning dew.

 

Ding-Dong

 

“I’ll get it,” I yelled loud enough so that my mom could hear me in the kitchen. “It’s probably Amy coming over to study.”

 

I opened the door.

 

“Hey Andy, I’m really sorry to hear about your Granddad. It must really suck,” said Amy as she stood in the door way with that same old pick-me-up smile that she got when I got cut from the soccer team because baseball and football were interfering too much. “I know its rough, but God will help you through it. May I come in?”

 

“Oh yeah! Sure,” I said forgetting that I was leaving my girlfriend standing out on my front porch in the rain. “Hey Sabrina, we’re gonna go up to my room and study. Ok?”

 

“Hi Amy!” shouted my mom from under the kitchen sink. “Yeah, that’s fine Andy; dinners gonna be a little late tonight cause I’ve got to fix this leak, so do you just want to order some pizza?”

 

“Yeah Mom, pizza sounds great! But are you sure you don’t want me to fix the leak, I really don’t mind,” I said.

 

“No sweetheart I got it. What about you Amy, would you like to stay for our away from home cooked meal?” asked my mom as she slid out from under the sink and picked up the phone.

 

“No thanks Mrs. Sanders, my parents are cooking our own away from home cooked meal.” chuckled Amy in that sweet little laugh I have come to love.

 

“So what subject do you want to start with?” asked Amy, but I didn’t hear her. I was to busy looking at a picture of my grandparents. “Andy!”

 

“What!? Oh! I’m sorry Amy it just I can’t really think about studying right now, my granddad is really hangin in my mind,” I answered.

 

“Its ok Andy I get it. So why don’t you tell me about your Granddad? I never got to meet him,” asked Amy.

 

“I don’t know Amy, it’s been a long day.”

 

“Please, it might make you feel better.”

 

“Well, ok… So ever since I was a little kid my Granddad Madreaux was the only grandparent I had because my dad’s parents died when he was only 15 and my mom’s mom died just one year before I was born. So he was the only grandparent I had and boy, he was the coolest granddad I could ever ask for. He loved fishing and he always would take me out in his boat when I came to visit. Then when my dad joined the army two years ago and was sent off to Iraq, Granddad Madreaux became like a father to me,” I sighed a quick laugh and then smiled at Amy, she was right, like she always is, this was making me feel better. “I can remember riding my bike down to his lake house in the summer just to hang out with him; I remember because I had my permit but my mom was always at work so I couldn’t drive. Ahhh the times we had. ” I chuckled, “You know one of the things I loved about him, he always had root beer in the fridge. That man could go through the root beer and no matter how much he drank there was always more.”

 

“It sounds like you and your Granddad were really close,” said Amy.

 

“Yeah, yeah I guess we were. There’s just one thing I’m worried about,” I said.

 

“What’s that?” asked Amy.

 

“It’s just… I’ve never been to a funeral before and I’m a little bit afraid of seeing my granddad...well…you know.” I said.

 

“Oh, Andy! I’m so sorry I never even thought about that! This must really be hard for you, being so close to your granddad and all,” said Amy in the caring understanding tone that I would never get tired of hearing. “Have you never been to a funeral before?”

 

“No. Not in my seventeen years of life have I been to one,” I said a little bit proud and ashamed.

 

“Well, here is my advice…pray, read the Bible. God will help you through this. I promise,” said Amy.

 

“Pizza is here Andy!” I heard my mom shout from downstairs.

 

“Ok Sabrina, I’m coming!” I yelled back.

 

“You know I’ve never gotten use to how you call your mom by her first name,” said Amy.

 

“Well actually, my mom has had me call her Sabrina ever since I could talk. She says that it makes for a more relaxed home environment, or something crazy like that,” I said.

 

“I think that’s pretty cool,” said Amy as we walked downstairs to the front door. “Well I think I should be going so I’ll see you tomorrow Andy. Are you picking me up for the funeral or would you like me to just drive myself?”

 

“I’ll pick you up around lunch,” I said as I gently kissed her on her forehead to say goodnight. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.”

 

I made sure to watch her get in her car and drive off before I closed the door.

 

After dinner, once I was in my room, I sat down on my bed and thought about what Amy had told me. She was right, and I knew she was. I looked up at the broken clock on the wall, it said 2:45, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t care what time it was anyway. I decided to take Amy’s advice and read my Bible, so I went to my book shelf.

 

“What? Where is it?” I asked myself as I anxiously searched through the shelf that it’s always on; then I suddenly remembered that I had let the kid in my fourth period class, Marcus Goodwin, barrow it for his church retreat this weekend.

 

“Dang it!” I said as I thought of anywhere else that I could possibly find another Bible in my room. Then I remembered that my mom had once told me that grandpa Madreaux had given me a Bible the day I was born. So I pulled out my baby box from under my bed and there sitting on the very top was an old, worn Bible. It was full of tabs and notes that Granddad had surely put in there for me to read when I was old enough, and I was. I sat on my bed again and started reading all the things that my Granddad had wanted me to.

 

“Sabrina! Are you almost ready? I promised Amy that I would pick here up fifteen minutes ago,” I yelled up stairs to my mom who was still getting dressed for the service today.

 

“Andy, I don’t want you to be late picking up Amy. You can go on and I’ll just drive myself.”

 

“No it ok, besides who wants to waste that kind of gas when the prices are almost to three dollars again.”

 

“Alright, Honey, I’m done,” said my mother as she walk down the stairs.

 

“Oh Andy, you look so handsome in that suit. It does a mothers heart good to see her little boy turn in to a handsome young man,” said my mom. “But what are you wearing on your feet?”

 

I quickly looked down to my feet. Had I stepped in something? But no it was just my normal shoes, a pair of black high tops, what I always wear.

 

“What? What’s wrong with my shoes?” I asked almost hurt.

 

“Well, aren’t they a little casual for something like this?” asked Sabrina.

 

“But Sabrina, I always wear Converse, even to the award ceremonies at school!”

 

“Well alright, I guess that you’re welcome to wear anything that you would like,” said my mother.

 

Once we picked up Amy, we went to the funeral home. We, however, were not the first ones there. There were so many people that I didn’t know, so I decided just to sit down, but Amy refused. Being the social flower that she is, she grabbed my hand and pulled me over to where people could come and talk to us freely and openly. I was not a big fan of this, but I can’t argue with Amy, so I talked to people I have never met and people I thought I’d never see again for what seemed to be a very long time. Then finally around three o’clock the service started and everyone sat down. Amy let me sit in the middle next to my mom, but not in the back where I really wanted to be.

 

Then the service was over, and it was time for the visitation, where everyone could see the body and say their last goodbyes. This was the time that I had prayed for strength. As my mom, Amy, and I walked over to the casket, Amy started to squeeze my hand real tight I knew she was trying to give me strength.

 

After the burial, everyone just stood around for a while. I guess it was kind of a moment of silence, I liked that. I looked over and noticed that Amy was crying so I took her and pulled her close into my chest so that she could bury her face and cry. Then I reached out and took my mother’s hand. I knew this had to be hard for her. Then as people started walking off, my mother let go of my hand.

 

“I’d better go get some food set out so that these people can eat. I’ll be down at the church if you need me,” said my mom. My reply was just a simple, slow nod.

 

Then a few minutes later Amy pulled her head off my chest. Her eyes were big, red, and puffy but she was so beautiful to me. I noticed a tear drop just sitting on her cheek so I gently wiped it off. Then she gave my hand one good squeeze.

 

“I’d better go help your mom. There are a lot of people here that need to be fed,” She said but again my only reply was a slow nod.

 

Then, I stood there alone on top of Cobble Hill in antagonizing pain for the greatest grandfather there ever was. I knew I would miss him, but I had family who loved me and they were still here. I also had his Bible; he had put scriptures in there just for me and I knew that whenever I would read that Bible he would be there with me. Reading along with me. Then as I looked down to my shoes, I started to cry.