September 27, 2008
By Allison Diaz, Weslco, TX

“I like the name Rose,” my mom stated. “Me too. It kinda reminds me of Nanna. Well at least the way she smelled,” I said thinking about my Nanna. My mom and I were talking about girls names while driving to the store before it closed. It was really late but my teacher insisted on getting grid paper. She said it would help me with my math problems. We had had a long day long. After my mom picked me up from school we went straight to my ballet class. Then we went grocery shopping. We went home and cooked dinner. After dinner I did my homework. I packed my bag to get ready to go to my aunts house. I would stay at her house and take my bath and get ready for bed. Then after my mom got out of class she would pick me up. (She was taking classes every Monday and Thursday at the local college.) Then I would go straight to bed. That night I had to get grid paper and they were out at the grocery store. “Actually now that I think about it I like Rosalina and Rose for short,” my mom said after a while. Then everything went black. The only thing I remember after that is waking up in the hospital. I had no idea what had happened.
I woke up in a dim, cold hospital room. My Aunt Lana was standing sitting in a chair next to my bed. She was smiling but her eyes were full of sadness, still hurt. She got up and came to hug me. After what seemed like forever she let go. Still holding on to my me by my shoulders so she was still able to look at me levelly. She told me to lay back down and rest. That’s when I knew something was wrong. My mom and my aunt were very much alike except for that. My mom would get straight to the point, whereas my aunt was one to beat around the bush. I looked around the room. “Where’s my mom,” I asked worried. “Honey, I really think you should rest a bit more,” she said gently. “No, I’m fine. Where’s my mom?” I insisted. She thought about it for a little while, then told me the unthinkable. “Your mom,” she paused a minute,“ was killed,”. “W w what happened?” I asked trembling. “You guys were in a car crash. A guy was drinking and driving and he lost control and, and , and…”she started crying. First I thought it was some horrible joke gone too far. Then I looked over at all the monitors I was hooked up to. In a way I wish she had been joking. “I was trying to call her cell phone all night long. When your school called asking if I knew why you weren’t at school, I knew something was wrong.,” my aunt explained through sobs. “When?” I asked, half because I wanted to know and half because I didn’t know what else to ask. “It’s Thursday, it happened Tuesday,” she said calming down. “ If it has been two days does that mean she is already buried?” I wondered. The truth is I had o idea what would happen in situations like this. I didn’t even know who I was going to live with. My dad left when I was a baby and my grandparents died when I was just two years old. “No, we waited to tell you,” she said with pained eyes. A nurse came in then. She called in the doctor when she saw I was awake. Everything that happened after that was just a blur. Family, friends, and doctors came in to see me. But, through it all I just kept nodding my head. I was I a daze.
A week later when I was finally out of the hospital,(They were still hesitant to let me out)we had the funeral. The church was filled with beautiful flowers. It smelled good, but the church seemed to be filled with every flower except my moms favorite: roses. My aunt said they cost too much and we were on a tight budget. The funeral was just like when I was stuck in the hospital. Nodding a lot, hugging, kissing, and crying. I hated it. I hated that everyone was pitying me. I didn’t like it. I knew they were trying to be nice and respectful, but I just wished they would wouldn’t look at me like that. They would frown at me, shaking their heads. People I didn’t even know came up to me and saying that I looked just like her.
After the funeral Aunt Lana took me to the little white house I once called home. She told me to pack “essentials” as she called them. I packed my toothbrush, a few clothes(the rest was going later with the rest of my stuff), and books (to entertain me). On our way back to my aunts house, my new home, we stopped by the church to gather some things we had left there. All the flowers were gone but the sweet scent still filled my nostrils. That night I ate dinner by myself. Aunt Lana was too busy answering phone calls. Some called to apologize for not being able to make it. Others called to say the ceremony was very nice. Still, others called to see how we were doing. I wasn’t going to school for another week. I was fine, but I didn’t complain. The next day I was supposed to see a counselour. Though I insisted that I didn’t need any help. But of course I was forced to go. The session went ok. All we talked about is how I felt that night, what I remember, and how I felt. For the whole hour she kept giving me tissues though I never shed a tear. She kept reminding me that I could cry if I needed to. Finally, after a whole box of tissues and an hour worth of talking about my feelings I was allowed to go home. But, not before my “new friend” (at least that’s what she told me to call her) talked to my aunt. They were talking in whispers, so I only caught a few words. I heard “never cried”, “some time”, and “misses her”. It was a long, quiet ride home. Thinking back, Aunt Lana never really did talk about the accident. I went back to school a few days later. At first my grades started dropping. My friends looked at me like I was a bad ending to a book. I even thought about quiting ballet. Then I started to really talk to my counselor; she really helped me. Slowly my grades got better, my friends started smiling again and I realized that I could never quit ballet. It was one of the things that keeps me close to my mom. I knew that if I quit my mom would be disappointed. But, through it all I never cried. I would go talk to my mom if I had a problem, but I never cried. Every Christmas, all her birthdays, and every Mothers Day I would go. At first my aunt never went. After about five years she started going occasionaly. Things weren’t ever great but they were ok.
I’m twenty-five now, the accident was fifteen years ago. At all my special occasions I felt her presence. My prom, my graduation, my Sweet Sixteen, and my wedding day. Though the strongest presence was the day my first child was born. She was born the same date my mom was, May 19. She weighed the same, was the same heighth, and she looks just like her. But, that isn’t the reason she was with me. She was there because I gave my precious child the name my mother loved, Rosalina. Rose, for short. It was the last thing I talked to my mom about; the last thing she said to me.
Now today, the anniversary of that horrible day I sit at the grave site of my mom. Today is the first time I cried about it too. This morning when I woke up I walked out the front door, without showering, without dressing. I sit here at her grave sit crying for the first time. It actually feels good. For some reason I am blaming myself for her death. I keep thinking that if I wasn’t so stupid. If I had been better in Math, I wouldn’t have had to get lined paper. I just don’t understand how I walked away with only a few scrapes and bruises. How unfair that is to her. But, then I think about my gorgeous daughter. How I would give anything for her. She is my life. I don’t know why it took me so long to cry, why it took me so long to feel any emotion at all. I always missed her but I never showed it, not even to myself. Before I go to feed my daughter I lay something next to the big granite stone. A rose. A single rose. As I walk away I heard her voice. I always felt her presence but I had never heard her voice. “I love you Esme,” I hear. “I love you too Mama,” I whisper back.

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