Tales Post – What Makes Us Human?


Hi!  I’m Chelle and I’m a human!

Bit of a strange introduction I know, but the lovely Andrew ( @pewterwolf13 ) invited myself and some other lovely bloggers on a blog tour.  A blog tour to challenge us and make us think and answer the question…..

What Makes Us Human?

You can find Andrew’s announcement post about this wonderful tour here

Andrew set us this challenge quite a few weeks ago and I have been thinking…..and thinking….and thinking….ever since.  It’s such a hard question to answer, but I like a challenge.

After a bit of brain storming and asking some family, friends and work colleagues the question I sat down all prepared…and blinked at a blank screen for over an hour!  My mind was blank.  So I turned to writing… a kind of mini story…a conversation between two characters who I stumbled across in my mind and flowed onto the page.  I’m a little nervous…but here goes….

What Makes Us Human by Michelle Toy

“Are you scared of dying?” I ask bashfully fiddling with the buttons on my shirt cuffs.

   He looks over at me, turning his head on the pillow towards me.  His blue eyes glistening in the sunlight that’s streaming in through the bay window opposite his bed.  His face pale and weak, but still my Grandad.  He laughs a faint throaty laugh, a shadow of the booming laugh I have grown to know since I was a child.  I finally pluck up the courage to hold my gaze at him for longer than a second.

   “Dear child, from the very day we are born we are moving day by day towards our death.  What is there to be scared about?”  He asks. “We are only human after all.”

   “But what makes us human Grandad?  What’s the point in being born just to die?”

   “It’s about everything in-between.  That’s what makes us human.”  He says.

    I look at him confused.

   “I would be so scared.” I admit, my eyes welling up trying hard to swallow down the tears in big gulps.  I push my nose up with my hand and take a big breath in and out.

“Being upset and having feelings of emotion makes us human.  Never forget that.” Grandad says waving a tissue from the floral box by his bed.  I gratefully take the tissue and smile whilst a single tear escapes from my eye and trickles down my cheek.  I smile at the kind caring man who has always been there for me.  The memories so fresh in my mind.  I can smell them, touch them and feel them.  They make me feel human and I smile at the thought.

   “Love, family, friendship they all make us human.  It makes our journey worth while,” Grandad says snapping me out of my hazy daydream.  “Don’t get me wrong, humans can be cruel too, but I think it’s human to be a little kinder than you have to.  Think of other people.  It’s the little things that make us all unique and you never know what a touch, smile or a look can do for a person.  It can make someone’s day just that bit brighter.”

   “Oh Grandad!”  I say shuffling forward on my chair to sit on the side of his bed.  The bed dipping under my weight and creasing his sheets as I do.  I reach for his hand and clasp it between mine so it’s safe and warm and rest it on my lap.  Grandad closes his eyes.

   “Your Grandmother,” He smiles.  “Oh how I miss her.  She used to make the best apple pie.  Do you remember?”

I nod in agreement smiling at the thought.  “Sometimes I still taste it in my dreams.” I say slightly giggly.

   “Well she always used to say cooking made her feel human.  She loved to cook.  When we were younger I was always going to invent her something that would make us rich so I could buy her her very own cake shop.”

   “She would have liked that.” I say.

   “That’s how I won her hand in marriage.”

   “By buying her a cake shop?”  I ask puzzled.

   “No,” He laughs followed by a raspy cough. “By being me.”

   “I can imagine you as a teenager Grandad.”  I laugh.

   “Oh I was full of life.  Full of ideas and ambition.  Humans have the unique ability to invent you know.  We have intelligence and a brain so advanced that we can discover new things every day.”

   “I wish they could have discovered a cure for you Grandad.”

   Granddad shakes his head just slightly.  “Dear child, there are many medicines in the whole wide world that help people everyday.  Medicines made by humans.  And there are still so many to discover.”


   “Reasoning skills are a good human trait to have too dear child.”  Grandad squeezes his eyes together giving me that look.  The look I have grown to know as the ‘listen to your Grandad’ look.

   We both laugh.

   Grandad starts coughing.

   He bangs his chest with the palm of his hand.

   “Should I go and get Mum?”  I ask anxiously.

   “Being a human also means I can make a conscience decision based on facts and the facts here are that my lungs are telling me it’s time.”

   “No Grandad…. It can’t be time.  We need more time to….I’m scared Grandad.”

   “You are a unique, wonderful and a lovely young lady.  Always remember that.  You can make people smile just by entering the room.  My very own little ray of sunshine.”  He says smiling and pushing his head further back into the pillow.

   “I can’t wait to see your Grandmother again…it’s been far too long…”

   Granddad closes his eyes and I see the final rise and fall of his chest.  I kiss his wrinkled smooth hand.

   I cry.

   I feel grief.

   I feel human.

   I say goodbye.

A huge thank you to Jim and Helen and my hubby and my Mom for reading this for me and encouraging me to be brave enough to post it.  I don’t think I would have if it wasn’t for your kind words, feedback and support.

Also a huge thank you to Andrew for coming up with a fab idea and really making me think!  Here’s to many more to come!

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour on the following blogs or by checking out #WhatMakesUsHuman on twitter.

Wednesday 20th January 2016 – Sisterspooky

Thursday 21st January 2016 – SableCaught

Friday 22nd January 2016 – Tales of Yesterday

Saturday 23rd January 2016 – Thirst for Fiction

Sunday 24th January 2016 – The Pewter Wolf

Monday 25th January 2016 – Chouett

Tuesday 26th January 2016 – Serendipity Reviews

So what do you think makes us human?  Did you enjoy the story?   I would love to hear your thoughts!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy



Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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5 Responses

  1. Sue Stokes says:

    Chell that is lovely brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye x

  1. January 24, 2016

    […] Human”. You can find that post here, and here are the few highlights I loved from the tour: Chelle’s story of a Grandfather and Grandchild was incredibly moving and wonderful, I loved it…. Laura talks about silver linings and what she believes makes us all human. And lastly, Rhys talks […]