The Important Things In Life

June 3, 2008
By Megan Crumley, Hubbard, OR

Meredith looked around her. Her best friend stood by her side. All the rest of her teammates were warming up for their game, the championship volleyball game. Meredith was the star player. She was always known for being a great athlete and a tough girl. She was always trying to keep up what everyone expected of her, it was hard being a freshman and being known as the star of her JV2 team.

They jogged into the gym ready to play. Their coach gave the names of players who were starting. Meredith was middle hitter, her favorite position. After they broke the huddle they walked to their positions. Meredith searched the stands for her mother. As usual she was not there. After her parents split her mother had not been there for her. She never came to her games, never cared if she had a bad grade, and was rarely home.

Meredith faced her opponents blocking the thoughts of her mother from her mind. Her opponent served the ball. It went to the center right behind her, who bumped it to the setter. The setter timed the set perfectly and the ball went into the air, ready for Meredith’s hard hit. Meredith crouched, sprung up, and smacked the ball from a foot above the net. She saw the ball on the other side of the net SMACK the ground. She had just scored their first point. The momentum of the players was stronger now. These girls were ready to play this game.

By the time the game was half over, the girls were up by two points. Meredith had made a few more great plays. She looked toward the stands for about the tenth time to find that her mother was still not there. The anger and sadness came back again. The coach called her out for a break. Meredith sat down and couldn’t help but stare at the door, waiting for her mom to walk in.

It was the last few seconds of the game and the girls needed two points to win. Once the ball was served both teams played hard. The volley lasted a while. After some great saves, Meredith’s best friend spiked it to the ground as outside hitter. TIED, with very little time left the girls volleyed hard, determined to walk away with a victory. Their setter set it to Meredith, and Meredith smacked the ball. Once again the ball slammed on the ground on the other side of the net. The girls cheered and cheered when they heard the buzzer. After they calmed down, they high-fived the other team.

Meredith looked to the stands and saw her mom was still not there. After promising to come, she never did. It made her angry, and the anger that had almost consumed her during the game was making her hurt more and more. She tried to ignore her mom’s selfish ways and enjoy her victory. So she put on a smile and joined in with the plans girls were making after the game. When they were getting ready to go she searched for her sweats inside her bag. While in the process of getting dressed, she heard her cell phone ring. She picked it up.

“Hello,” she said hoping that it wasn’t her mom, afraid she might burst into tears from her anger and frustration.

“Hi, Meredith this is Grandma,” her grandma said in a sad shaky voice.

“Hi Grandma, is something wrong?” Meredith asked as she stepped away from the rest of her teammates.

“Well honey, did win you your game?” her grandma asked.

“Well I’m glad somebody remembered that I had the most important game of my life today,” Meredith replied,” but yes, Grandma we did win,” she said quickly, feeling a little bad for taking her frustration out on her grandmother.

Then her grandma started crying. ”Oh no,” she cried.

“Grandma, what in the world is wrong,” Meredith said, getting more concerned by the moment.

“She was going to come, she…she-,“ then her grandma burst into another fit of tears.

“If you’re talking about my mom, why are you crying, did she do something to you, what?” Meredith said getting more impatient.

“No your mom didn’t do anything, she was on the way to your game when…” her grandma couldn’t seem to get the words out.

“What Grandma, what happened?” Meredith practically yelled gaining the attention of a few of her teammates.

“Your mother was in a car accident,” her grandma let out her breath as if she’d been holding it till she could get the words out.

“Is she okay, is she at a hospital nearby or something?” Meredith said, hoping her grandma would say her mom was okay.

“I’m afraid not, she…she didn’t make it, I’m so sorry-“

Meredith dropped the phone and fell to her knees. She put her head in her hands and cried. She couldn’t believe it. She had been so angry with her mother for not coming. Her mom was on her way, she just never made it. She immediately hoped it hadn’t been painful for her mom. She was suddenly overcome with shame for being so angry. Then her mind drifted to memories of when her mom was happy. She also remembered when her parents had been in love. Neither of them had thought they would split up. She could picture her mom, dad, and her as a young girl running around in their backyard having so much fun, as if nothing bad would ever happen. The picture of her mom’s happy face brought more streams of tears. There seemed no point in life if this was the way it was going to be. Her dad had gone off to live in Florida and Meredith couldn’t even count how many miles that was away from where they lived. At that point Meredith realized that her mom was the only one who hadn’t left her. This made her cry even more. The time when you love and miss someone the most was when they weren’t around, and this wasn’t just a month of being away on business, this was forever, because her mother was dead.

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