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In one minute you can type forty words; do a math problem; you can read a page of your favorite novel. In one minute you can watch two commercials; re-heat food, get dressed. One minute is how long it takes to run a touchdown, wash your face, and say a prayer. In one minute, you can lose a loved one.
As tears rolled down her cheekbones my mother gently hugged me for comfort. I could feel her body quiver and her hug got stronger with every breath. I was about to lose a hero of mine and I was not prepared.
'GiGi passed away last night. She was ready,' my mom says shaking. As I grabbed her arm for support I could feel the goose bumps pop out on her arm one by one.
'You must be joking. She is never going to die; she will make it. She always does,' I felt my body go cold and my bloodstream was at a halt. Everything had stopped, millions of thoughts were running all over my head, and I was seeing the stars.
'She did not make it this time, honey. Everything will be okay.'
'How is Nana? Is she holding up?' My nana was my best friend and seeing her hurt would make me hurt even more.
'She is in a lot of stress right now, but in the end everything will be okay.' That night was full of fear and confusion. Was I really supposed to believe that my hero, someone who I looked so highly up too passed away? I was hoping a little rest would help relax through the disaster.
The next morning I finally realized the bad news I heard was actually true. My great grandma had passed away. She had been hospital many times, but she always came back home looking like a little kid on Christmas with the present they wanted. She smiled and went back to telling stories about when she was our age or tell me all about being a teacher. She would captivate my family with a story about the past that you would never think about.
In fact, when I was little she had given me a box filled with scissors, coloring books, and extra large pencils that was left over from when she taught kindergarten. My grin would be so wide, and I would run downstairs and play school with my imaginary students for hours.
'Victoria?' a voice goes early in the morning as I unravel from my sheets attempting to turn my weak body around. I could feel the left over tears on my face. As the dim sunlight was coming through my window I could see my sister holding her favorite stuffed animal, Snowman, in her right hand and her left hand wiping the drops of tears that trickle down her face.
'I do not know what to do. I'm scared.'
'What are you scared about?'
' I don't know,' she wipes away more tears from her face and starts to cry louder and a lot harder. 'What will the funeral be like? I will never get to see her again, and she is gone.'
'Brooke, she is not gone. She will always be there inside of your heart. Whenever you think of her she is thinking of you. She loved you so much.' Somewhere inside of me I felt myself being an older sister. I realized my sister was looking up to me for help. I believe my great grandma was there helping my sister, and she told me what to say. Her words were passing through my mouth into my sister's ears.
'These pancakes are delicious Carol. Thank you,' my great grandma says. During the summer she stayed up north in our two roomed, red-logged cabin on a small convenient lake. The cabin on the lake was a place where my mom's side of the family got together for a week before the parents went back to work and the kids returned to school. My great grandma, GiGi, was lucky enough to stay there for the whole summer before coming back down state for winter. Whenever my family came up she was always delighted, and had such a huge smile on her face. She would teach us new songs from when she was a young child, and card games played with a regular deck of cards. During the day we would jump off the raft into the clear blue water and swim out as far aw we could before we got to tired and had to swim back in. During the night we would visit the local pizzeria downtown for a few slices of pepperoni pizza and Parmesan breadsticks. We would than rush home for a quick game of Yatzhee or Pass the Pigs with GiG, and than some of the cottage's famous popcorn that made your mouth smile.
'Thank you for coming today. We are here to remember a special lady that has a place in all of our hearts.' My cousin and I sit in our seats frozen. We do not know how to react to such an event. This was our first time we lost someone truly special. We hold each other's hand for comfort not knowing what was ahead. I sit there thinking of all the moments throughout my life that was shared with her. Throughout the room there was assorted flowers, in colors of the rainbow. For some reason the flowers reminded me of her bright personality and the sunshine she brought to the world within every second she had.
'Please hold hands as we pray,' the priest says to the crowd with was filled with tears and broken hearts. At the point I noticed she was really gone. I was never going to see her warm, smiling face again. I wasn't going to be able to sit next to her in the sunroom enjoying the sunset of a summer night, or there to talk about life's important lessons learned. I grabbed my cousin's hand harder needing more comfort. I finally felt the warm salty years push through my eyelids. I was not able to hold them back anymore; they ran down the bone structure of my face and once they fell off the face they were left to get soaked in my shirt. My cousin could not hold her tears anymore, they soon started streaming down her face. That day was unforgettable. I learned many lessons as well as grew a bond between my cousin and me.