I always thought my Cybunny Grandpa was my hero because he could climb
the tallest mountains in Neopian, tell the best wartime stories, and even
survive two heart attacks. But as I learned, even heroes must rest from
As I approached my Cybunny Grandpa and Grandma Cybunny's house that Thursday
afternoon, I could tell something was different that day. "Hi, Gregory,"
greeted my grandma whose once gentle voice sounded like a high pitch squeak
of an old car tire. Cybunny Grandma's hug still felt warm, soft and inviting
like the feel of velvet on one's skin. Her perfume smelled like a fresh
opened mint. Yet Grandma’s eyes were red and tired. She looked away from
my eyes as if she were hiding a secret.
As I walked in the house, which I knew so well - every corner I loved
to hide in, every closet door I loved to open -- I could tell something
was missing that day. It was the sight of Grandpa Cybunny, who usually
popped out from behind the front door wearing his crazy cheese head hat
and shaking his cane at me, yelling, "My Gregory boy!”
Instead, today I had to find Grandpa, who was lying silently in his
bed, his eyes fixed on the ceiling. My mom Cybunny had told me Grandpa
Cybunny was not feeling well, but I knew he was not just sick.
There was something very wrong with him.
When I walked in his bedroom, I felt as if a circle of ghosts surrounded
me. I whispered, "Hello Grandpa", afraid I might hurt him. He looked so
small - the Cybunny lying there underneath photos of himself climbing
Mt. NeoPet, now looked like a frail doll. "Hi," Grandpa Cybunny whispered.
His voice was soft yet rough at the same time. “How’s my Gregory boy?"
But I knew he wasn't looking for an answer.
It was hard to eat dinner that night, even though Grandma Cybunny had
prepared my favourite meal, fried chicken and homemade macaroni and cheese.
Grandpa Cybunny's chair looked lost sitting alone and empty at the end
of the dining room table. We tried to talk about happy events like my
recent trip to the beach and my newest saxophone piece. Yet the laughter
Before I left that evening I wanted to say good-bye to the one I loved
most, to tell my Grandpa Cybunny how much he meant to me, what a hero
he was, and about all my plans I still had for us. But my Grandma Cybunny
stopped me, saying, "Grandpa's asleep."
The next day at 11:36 am we got the call. Grandpa Cybunny had passed away.
Is that what happens to heroes?
We all cried - not the kind of crying I've done when I have gotten caught
stealing a dollar from my sister's wallet - but the kind of crying which
reached deep within my soul, a cry of stabbing pain that never seemed
Despite the heartbreak, I learned more about heroes that day. I learned
one does not have to slay evil Dr. Sloth, win gold in the Poetry Contest,
or hit grand slam home runs in order to be worshipped. One only needs
to love someone to influence a life forever.