Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Personal Essay Workshop

Today we had a professional development day about writing a personal essay. Below is what I wrote. I did this from the view point of a third grader so if the writing sounds a bit "different", that may be the reason. It is still lacking a conclusion.

Grandparents are people who you are supposed to be close to you so they should live close to you.

My grandparents used to live close to me. They don’t anymore. In fact, they live in Florida, which is a long way away from New Jersey. My grandparents are really fun people. I love it when my mom drives us to their apartment on the Shrewsbury River. I go skipping down the sidewalk, saying hi to all the people I have met there, bang on the front door, and just burst into their apartment. Running up the stairs, I am always greeted by a huge hug from my grandfather, who was probably reading the Wall Street Journal and another by my grandmother, who was always reading a book. After visiting for a bit, my grandfather and I would walk, hand in hand, down to the dock where the Strebla, his cabin cruiser, was docked and let me help him clean it. I love working on the boat with my grandfather. It’s the time we spend together without my little brother, my mom, or anyone else. It was my time and I love it. Living close to the people we love is important.

Every year we hear about the price of gas going up. This affects all kind of travel as well, planes, trains, automobiles. Just staying in hotels can cost families a lot of money for a room and food. Traveling long distances can be hard on families who don’t have much money. They wouldn’t be able to see their grandchildren more than once or twice a year. My mom’s friend, Sue, doesn’t get to see her grandchildren in Texas more than twice a year. Once, during the holidays, she and her husband travel from California to Texas to visit with her three grandchildren. Then, during the summer that family travels from Texas to California. It costs too much for either family to make this trip more than once a year. Distance is difficult when you love someone.

The hug was warmer and tighter than any other I ever remember from my grandmother. She held me close to her, her thin arms around my shoulders. I could smell the cigarettes she smokes, although we had told her so many times she shouldn’t. It was our last day in Florida. Only this morning, we had been happily swimming in the blue water, but now the car was packed, the cooler in the back of the car filled with food for our drive back to New Jersey and I was in my grandmother’s embrace. My dad, who was usually laughing and talking a mile a minute, was quiet as he made sure my brother was buckled in safely. I turned my face to see my mom coming from inside the house, her eyes red. I knew I was sad, but I was also angry at the thought of my mom being this sad. My grandmother SHOULD live closer. I loved being in Florida but this feeling, this sadness, couldn’t be good. It was in such direct opposition with how I felt when we had first arrived. I knew if my grandparents lived closer to us, my mom would be happier and our hearts won’t hurt this much.

Sometimes living apart from the people you loved just can’t be helped. Some people move because they have to take a job in another part of the country. Some people have to move to places because of their health. Others move because all their lives they have wanted to live in a different type of climate. Sometimes these things can’t be helped. People say that with the Internet and phones, that people, even though they are far away from others, seem to be closer. Still, there is nothing like a hug, a smile you can see, or a kiss, from a person who is right next to you.

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