Autumn In My Heart Essay Examples
The sound of guitar strumming accompanied by a husky male voice filled the cold night air. I was roused from sleep by that sound, but I did not mind. “Country road, take me home; to the place, where I belong. West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home country road” the voice sang. My mind was still drowsy from sleep but I could not help smiling. I know it was my grandfather singing his favorite song. I climbed out of my bed and ran as fast as I could towards the direction of the melody. And there I found him, sitting on a rocking chair at the balcony, strumming his guitar whilst looking on to the moon with a pleasant smile on his face. I was still a young child of eleven at that time; one might say that I am more attached to my grandfather rather than to my parents. Right after my eleventh birthday, Mother and Father eventually parted their ways. It was sad, knowing that there’s no hope in rebuilding our family. I begged them not to divorce but they did; and even though they said that I am always welcome to live with them, I cannot fathom to do it. I do not like the idea of intruding someone else’s family. I do not like to mingle with their new families because when I do, I always have the feeling of being an outcast, without a family of my own. My grandfather Thomas adopted me and invited me to live in his farmhouse in the state of West Virginia. He was my father’s father; I accepted his offer to accompany him because he was a widower. Grandma left him few years ago because of tuberculosis. Despite the simplicity of our life, I never regretted living with him, along with our pet dog Hachi. It was the best time of my life and I treasured every moment of it. Gramps loved to strum his guitar every night whilst sitting at the balcony. According to him, the moon soothes his soul and the music calms his mind. “Guitar is best played during the full moon,” he always says. The evening breeze blew wildly, so I tucked my hands within the folds of my coat. Trees shed their leaves beautifully during the season of autumn. I hugged my grandfather from behind, an action which made him chuckle. “Still awake Gramps?” I said before kissing him on his left cheek. Gramps reached out his right hand and patted my head playfully, while his left hand held the guitar. I sat on a chair in front of him and watched him strum his guitar. My grandfather was a musician at heart, but because of the Second World War, he was forced to abandon his passion to join the army. I watched in sheer fascination as his skilled fingers plucked and strummed each string, and he sang the Simon and Garfunkel’s popular song, “The Boxer.”
“When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy. In the company of strangers; in the quiet of the railway station, running scared, lying low” Gramps continued the song whilst strumming his old friend. I knew the lyrics of the song and country music has been one of my favorites compared the modern music. Gramps and I sang the lyrics of the song until the last stanza. The moonlight illuminated the darkness of the world. Perhaps Hachi heard us singing for he went to the balcony to accompany us. He howled happily and laid himself on a small rug placed beside my feet, whilst wagging his tail. “It seems that our little friend has fallen asleep.” Gramps said, pointing Hachi snuggling himself on the rug. I looked down at the dog and smiled. “Perhaps, he loved our duet together Gramps.” We laughed together which alerted Hachi. The dog immediately jumped towards Grandfather and licked his cheek. Grandfather put his guitar on the table and looked at me. “Are you not sad that you are here with me? I am an old man now. Perhaps few more years and I will be a goner.” The words he uttered seemed to hit something inside me. I do not want him to go, not yet. I am not ready, though I do not when I will be. I love my grandfather because he is my only family who never abandoned me. I merely shrugged and hid my emotions, “Do not say things like that old man, you’re strong as a horse!” I forced out a laugh but to me it sounded empty. Gramps just looked at me and smiled the same smile that always warmed my heart. I felt myself melting on that soulful smile. I hugged him tight. “There, there my child; Do not cry I will not leave you yet,” he said to me. My tears started to fall but I will never, ever cry again. “I promise Gramps, I will make your dream come true. I will become a musician just like you.”
After I graduated from high school, I applied for a part-time job to support myself to go to college. My parents still gave me some financial support but I refused, which made them sad. I know they think that I am still upset for what happened to our family, but it does not matter to me anymore. I do not want to accept their money because they have their own families, and they needed the money as much as I do. Nevertheless, despite my refusal, they still continued to deposit some money into my account but I never used them. I had four part-time jobs; two during weekdays and two during weekends. I enjoy working as a vocalist in a club because I can use Gramps guitar. Together with my close friends Connor, Matthew and Sam, we formed the ‘Black Hearts’ band. My mates consider my grandfather as the master of guitar riffs. We always bring my old man on every gig and it seemed to me that my grandfather was happier than ever for he was given the chance to perform with us on stage. My Grandfather was very supportive and understanding. He became somewhat our manager and advisor at the same time. Although our band is not popular in the music industry, I can say that we have the best support in the world. The pub owner allowed our band to perform every night because according to him, his sales increase because of our incredible performance. Most of our songs were pop, rock and country music combined. We made revivals of John Denver’s songs, The Beatles, The BeeGees and many more. Perhaps one of the main reasons that local folks love us is because we bring back the forgotten songs of the past. Gramps and my band continued to perform the country music that he love so much. However, inevitable things happen. Gramps suffered pneumonia on the 5th of September, 2014. It was during on one of our gigs that he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital. I did not attend my job at that day because I wanted to be with my grandfather. He never left me when I needed him; hence, I will not abandon him. My friends helped me; they took rounds in taking care of Gramps. Our kind manager and pub owner even sorted half the cost of the hospital bills. He said that it was because of my grandfather that he learned a lot from music. Later that evening, I felt someone touching my face; I opened my eyes and saw my Mother caressing my cheek. Her face was sad. My father was with her together with his new wife. They all looked sad. I tore my gaze away from them, and focused on my grandfather who was still lying unconscious on the hospital bed. Tubes with needles were inserted on his skin. His face was pale and sickly. The machine beside him displayed the lines of his heartbeat. I held his hand and kissed it. “Wake up, old man” I whispered inaudibly. He seemed to hear my voice for he slowly opened his eyes. Five days later, Gramps and I were out in the hospital garden. He still had that sickly pale face; but despite his old age, he was lively as ever as if his sickness never bothered him. He sat on the wheelchair. I brought his favorite guitar because he could not strum it anymore because his finger was too weak. “The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old. But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul” As I sang the Dan Fogelberg’s song, Gramps sat peacefully whilst listening to my voice. I looked around and saw a brown leaf that was about to fall from the maple tree. Suddenly, I recalled Chisato’s poem about the season of autumn. “Dead leaves whirling in the heartless autumn gust! Still more fleeting, I have found man’s short life from dust to dust.” As my fingers strummed the last chords of the song, the autumn wind blew towards our direction. The brown maple leaf fell from the tree. It was past three o’clock. I looked at my grandfather who appeared to be sleeping on his wheelchair. I touched his cheek, “Gramps, we are going back now. Wake up.” There was no response. “I tugged his hospital gown lightly, “Hey Gramps, wake up!” Again, there was no response. His fingers did not twitch either. Fear gripped my heart tightly; I prayed silently hoping that I was wrong. I gently tapped his cheek and tugged his sleeve, a bit harder this time. I panicked, and called the nurses and the doctor immediately. Minutes later, they checked my grandfather’s condition. After checking his pulse, the doctor said, “I am sorry but your grandfatheris dead.” My grandfather was buried beside my grandmother’s grave. For sure, I know that he is happy with her. The leader of the band passed away, leaving his legacy and memories to us, my friends and I. We visited his grave yesterday, and even performed his favorite country music in front of his grave, using his old guitar. My grandfather left us with happy thoughts and advices that we will not forget until our last days on Earth. But still, even though we only have short lives to live, Gramps inspired us to create more music to make people happy, not just for the sake of money. As we strummed our guitar, somehow I heard my grandfather’s laugh. It was just a brief sound I heard when the wind blew directly to us. Perhaps, it was my grandfather’s way of saying goodbye to us. “We are just a living legacy, to the leader of the band,” I looked upon the heavens and smiled.