Snapshot

By , State Center, IA
My brother and I see the silver-gold van pull up to the sloping curb; Mom is finally here. I hadn’t gone to kindergarten that day, and I am annoyed from the other, less disciplined, babysitting kids. They had blamed me for stealing a piece of spearmint gum and drawing in the reading book with the pink crayon.
Mom didn’t leave the van to greet us as she normally did, as we bounced our giddy-selves across the green lawn to the now-open van door. She sits in the driver’s seat, facing forward, with her dark brown, oval-shaped sunglasses on. Mom didn’t remove them until we buckled ourselves in and were ready to go.

Hesitantly, she turned so we could see her and slipped her glasses off with shaking hands. “Grandpa Hundwardsen died today,” she choked. Her eyes were teary red and bloodshot.

“What?” I replied instantaneously. I immediately started whining and crying.

What does these mean? I thought to myself. Will I ever see him again? I was crying, but it wasn’t a true, genuine cry; it was a hollow, some-kid-just-stole-my-toy cry.
Maybe I was crying because deep down I knew he was gone. Maybe I was crying only because my mom was crying. I didn’t understand the concept of death or how to handle it. In my five-year-old mind, he was always going to be there; there was no way he was gone.





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