Goodbyes

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I was in 4th grade when it happened. Three months earlier my Mommom was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer of the lymph notes. At the time I didn’t even know what the term terminal meant. I was only told, she was sick, like the kind of sick I got when I ate too much. So occasionally I would think about it, and visit her ask her how she felt. Her acting was impeccable. She shielded us from the truth. The year before my sister and I had been surprised when my mom and dad had taken us to Disney world. It was my Mom’s first time. Boy, did she love it. She loved it so much that we planned another trip for next year. This was before she was diagnosed. It didn’t even phase me when I went to see her in the hospital. She looked so happy, even though her insides were slowly being eaten alive. Whenever we visited her, her crooked grin and squinty eyes seemed to radiate joy. I, on the other hand, was an antsy fourth grader who only wanted to play with the latex gloves. Anxiously, I could only think about our trip to Disney World the next day. I rushed out of there that day and I forgot to tell her I loved her. It was the last chance I would ever get to say that in person.On the third night of our trip I called my grandma. “Mommom please don't die, I love you.” Her tired voice still had a hint of hope in it, “I won’t try to, I love you too baby doll.” . The three days we spent in Disney World were cut short when we received the news my mommom had been moved to the ICU. My mother made arrangements that morning to get back home as Lindley and I went to have breakfast with Minney and Mickey. That night we got back was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry. He had been with the doctors. The lines on his forehead came out and he rubbed his eyes under his glasses. “There has been no change,” He said as tears streamed down his face. It was the first day of fourth grade when my sister walked down the stairs and wailed. I ran down the stairs to hear the news I already knew. The grim faces only confirmed to me that my Grandma had died. Turmoil engulfed my mind and body. I heaped my body on the floor, and I screamed. For the next few hours I lied there in my own grief. I don’t remembering walking to my bedroom, but I will never forget crying myself to sleep.

The next few days till the wake were a haze. My body stayed with my family, but my mind wandered. I was so young. I didn’t know how to handle the tragedy. Mentally, I went off away from the pain, and the screaming. When something terrible happens I check out, escaping from the harshness of the world. The first thing I remembered happening after my grandma died was her wake. The scent of cheap flowers and chemicals engulfed my nose. My vision blurred in and out as tears streamed down my face. The hall I walked down was reminded me off the hall from The Shining. Pictures of my grandma when she was younger sat on white easels, lining the hall. Each step I took brought me closer to the room. Each step brought more tears. I turned the corner into a room with stained glass windows, and flowers. I wasn’t alone. Everywhere I looked was unfamiliar faces, and more flowers. My stride slowed, until it abruptly stopped at the mahogany coffin. It was an open casket. I was afraid to look down, but I knew if I didn’t I would miss saying goodbye. I knelt over her body. The skin on her face hung loose. The glow she once radiated was no longer present.The only thing that told me it was still my mommom was the strong smell of smoke, and Channel number 5. I toyed with the blue bands the funeral home put on her wrists when something caught my eye. Peeking out just barely, was the bracelet I made her. Ragged, the tips had began to fringe. I dropped in a letter from my sister, and I slide a letter into her hand from myself. I stood up and watched her a moment. Then I knelt down and kissed her forehead. As if it were a secret, I whispered in her ear, “I love you.”





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Sail said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Wonderful, poignant story. Loss ironically captures the essence of life, of being human, and I can read and feel it in your work. Keep writing, Andie!
 
Lucy said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 9:54 am
YOU ROOCK MY SOCKS OFF
 
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