Like There Is No Tomorrow

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I looked at their grief-stricken faces. Then I saw her, who they were grieving over. It was the way that they reacted when they saw her: no hair, color in her skin, lips blue, trembling hands. It was obvious what they were thinking; everyone else was thinking the same thing. It was the only escape plan for her. I think I would feel the same if I was in her condition. I still cannot believe it; two days ago, we were all just fine. Then we hear news like this “She has chronic leukemia.”
My parents’ reaction was inevitable. They could make everyone around depressed, because my mom was constantly dabbing her eyes and occasionally just holding the tissues against them while my dad attempted numerous times to calm her down and soothe her... rarely succeeding. I have always tended to hold any sadness and emotions in, rather than crying. For as long as I can remember, this has been how I cope with things. Because of this, I am always sitting across from my parents, blank faced, and a bit shocked. I usually find another way to help me cope with a situation, since I do not cry. Throughout this whole thing, I have been the one trying to comfort her and make sure she was handling it well. Which, surprisingly, she was. When I would talk with her about it, she would never get upset and start crying or change the subject, she always tells me “God brought me here for a reason, I’m sure he is taking me away for a reason.” Just like that, she assumes that she is going to die.. and she is okay with it.
I admire her for it, because instead of pouting and because depressed, she embraces her sickness. She has served her purpose on Earth according to God, as she puts it. I didn’t care how she justified it, she was my younger sister; I did not want to lose her, especially at such a young age!
So far, we have been in the hospital for about a month. Every couple days, my mom or dad will go back to the house to get more clothes, and check our mail; other than that we hardly ever leave. When my parents go and get food, my sister and I sit there and just talk. We could be talking to each other using words like “bro”, “homeboy”, “broski”, and other weird slang words and I’d still hold on to every word she said. These conversations, I cherish.
After about three and a half weeks, you could see her started to get weaker every day. It was during one of our little talks, that she said something that almost made me lose my composure and begin crying. We were talking about cars, I think, and she says “If there is one thing I want you to take from this whole thing it would be to live like there is no tomorrow. Look at me right now,” she continued as I stared at her wide-eyed, “I’m up to my neck in wires, I have no hair, and I haven’t been able to raise my hands without them shaking in weeks. Would I have known I was going to be like this three months ago, I would have done a lot of things differently. There are things I’ve done, words I’ve said, that I would not have done if I had known I was going to die.” “You are not going to die.” I said quietly. “Really? Again, do you not see me? I look like a zombie!” As she said this, she got quieter and quieter, now barely able to speak. She looked as if she was out of breath, because she was panting heavily now. I asked her if she was okay, she replied “Whatever happens in the next five minutes, I want you to know I love you, always.” “I love you, too. What are you saying this for? Wait... sis.” The sudden realization made me jump. “MOM! DAD!” I yelled as I opened the door to the hallway.




~Two Weeks Later~

I watched them as they began lowering the coffin, with her small body encased, into the ground. I looked around me. I saw my mom and dad, as well as a lot of other people that I didn’t know the names of. I bet half of these people didn’t even know her. They never sat with her late into the night talking with her about everything, how could they really know her? Thinking this, a specific part of our last conversation came to mind. “Live like there is no tomorrow”, she said, and that is exactly what I am going to do. As I thought this I guess my composure had broken at last; I now had tears streaming down my face. I had never realized it, but crying felt like the relief, I never knew I needed.
As we were leaving, I was almost sure I heard her voice in my head, reminding me of everything we talked about late into those nights. “Live like there is no tomorrow,” she repeated.





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