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The sky was gray with heavy clouds. The wind blew softly as if it was whispering a secret to Alyssa on her walk home from school. The day hinted winter, a time for the leaves to fall. Alyssa smelled the crisp air and thought about her day. It had been boring and dull, the usual. As she walked up the driveway to her house, she noticed something unusual. Her dad’s car was sitting in the driveway at three o’clock in the afternoon. He was never home this early.
When Alyssa walked through the door, her dad said, “Honey, your grandma has been moved to the intensive care unit of the hospital. She is not doing very well. I hate to break it to you, but the end could be near. Your mom and uncle are currently at the hospital. Would you like to join them?”
Alyssa’s mouth gaped open in surprise and her eyes began to water. Alyssa’s grandmother had been living in the nursing home for a few months after breaking her neck, but she had been having heart and muscle issues that occasionally brought her to the hospital. Her grandmother had never been on the verge of death before.
“Of course I’ll go.” replied Alyssa.
Alyssa and her dad drove silently to the hospital. Alyssa opened up the door to her grandmother’s hospital room. Her grandmother was breathing heavily and her eyes kept going in and out of focus. Alyssa stood by her bed and tried the hardest not to cry. With all of her strength, the grandmother smiled at Alyssa. Alyssa smiled back. The smile was her grandmother’s way of saying, I love you. Her grandmother was unable to talk.
“Your grandmother wanted to give you this.” her mother said.
Alyssa opened a small box to find pearl earrings. The pearls were pale and somber, but they were beautiful.
“Thank you, grandma.” Alyssa said softly.
Alyssa sat by her grandmother’s bed and stared at her grandmother’s face. It was the face of someone who had seen a lot and had a fulfilling life. Alyssa remembered all the memories she had with her grandmother. She remembered the trips they had and the dinners they cooked together. Alyssa remembered the game nights and how her grandmother would always let her win. She remembered how her grandmother would never take no for an answer. Her grandmother was someone who stood up for what she believed in.
“Alyssa, we should go.” said Alyssa’s dad.
Alyssa memorized her grandmother’s face because she knew she might never see her again.
“Good bye grandma. I love you.” said Alyssa.
An hour later, Alyssa got a phone call that her grandma had passed away.