A Tragedy

January 18, 2009
By Bethany Gielecki, Hartland, WI

I wake up to a blasting phone alarm at 6:05 am, on a Saturday morning; I knew that my high school placement testing was in one short hour. Rushing to the bathroom door, I found it locked from the inside. I was banging and shouting for my sister to open our “Jack and Jill” bathroom style door so I could take a shower, but the door never opened.

I ran into her room, but she wasn’t there. Maybe she relapsed? The hospital released her saying she was fine. My palms were sweating profusely. My face flushed red and my temperature boiled inside me; I opened the door. “Cassie…Cassie…Cassie…MOM! I think there’s something wrong with Cassie!” Tears came streaming down, as if my eyes were Niagara Falls. I ran downstairs, trying to comprehend what had happened. Pacing back and forth with nervousness, I heard my mom pleading with Cassie to wake up, and my dad trying to call 911.

The operator could not understand my dad. He handed me the phone. Since shock had taken over my body and my tears had dried out, I calmly told the operator our address. It took them five minutes, but it was too late. An ambulance, the police, and a fire truck came. I couldn’t go upstairs; I wanted to run away. My best friend and sister left me standing alone.

A vivid memory of that morning is burnished forever in my brain. On January 15, 2005, I felt more pain than I thought was humanly possible. However, I would feel more pain. The shock had suppressed my pain, in a way protected me. I was forced to mature at a time when I should have been off playing with my friends and enjoying life. Not many eighth graders have to suffer the loss I have.
There is not a day, minute, or second that goes by that I don’t think about her. The pain is always there. It is a constant reminder of how fragile and precious life is. As a result, I am much more aware of the pain and suffering humans have on a daily basis and I am committed to helping my fellow man.
She is always with me; telling me right from wrong and helping me make good decisions. Her death has made me grateful to be alive; she has made me realize life is too short; you have to fight for what you want. Most of all, she has taught me to persevere through the hard times. There is always another day.

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