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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     My whole body was overcome with goose bumps and my eyes began to fill with tears. My hands shook uncontrollably as I tried to understand. I was lost in the words I was being told. The world was spinning and I could not breathe; I could not speak.

It was another one of those almost-Friday, frantic Thursdays. Every period I stared at the clock, waiting for the day to end. Finally it was seventh period. One of my best friends, Ivy, and I sat next to each other, causing a ruckus as usual. When Miss Van, our orchestra teacher, called Ivy into the hall, we looked at each other and wondered, Now what? I watched through the window and became worried at Ivy’s frightened expression. Miss Van opened the door and stared at me, eyes wide. I shot out of my chair and ran to Ivy. She fell into my arms, crying as she managed to tell me that her father had collapsed at work. I tried to calm her, suggesting he probably had low blood sugar.

At six o’clock that evening, Ivy called. “Candace, could you please come to the hospital?” These were the only words I needed to hear to know where I belonged. I decided to buy Ivy something to hold onto while she was there so I purchased a unicorn (she loves horses) in hopes that it would work its magic.

When I arrived at the hospital, the waiting room was full of family and close friends and completely silent. Tissues were crumpled in the hands of many. I was confused and shocked. I was not expecting such a serious scene. When I turned and saw Ivy, we collided, holding each other close. The whole world stopped as we stood in the middle of that silent room, wailing. We did not care, or notice, how loud we were. I was not sure what had happened to Mr. P., but I cried because I knew it had to be something horrible if Ivy, one of my emotionally stronger friends, had eyes as red as blood.

After calming down, Ivy explained that her father had experienced a brain aneurysm and his chances of survival were extremely slim. I could not picture any of this as reality until she escorted me down the blank, white halls to his room. She held his hand, wanting never to let go, but knowing that eventually, maybe even that night, she would have to. The voices in my head were screaming for God to hear what I was saying. I prayed for Mr. P. to wake up, for God to give him strength, and to let there be a miracle! He looked like he was at peace, but I did not want him to be at peace, I wanted him to wake up and carry on with his life.

Much later, when I got home, Ivy called to tell me that they had decided to make her father an organ donor. They chose to end his life because they did not want him to suffer. I realized I would never see Mr. P. again; he was really gone. That was one of the most difficult situations I had ever experienced.

Who would have known a person could cry so much? The morning of calling hours was hectic. With hundreds of people, the line extended out the building and halfway down the road. My friends and I waited two hours just to get in. When we finally made it to the room, its coldness sent chills through my body. Ivy came to meet us. We ran to her and had a group hug. I stayed outside the circle because I did not want Ivy to see how weak I was feeling. She saw me and smiled, telling me to come hug her and stop crying. I held her tight, telling her it wasn’t fair and that I loved her. All our tears became a loud roar that filled the room. We went to another room where we watched a slide show her brother had put together, some parts of which made us smile while others left us crying again. After calming down, I stepped back into line to give my condolences to Mrs. P. and Ivy’s brother. The moment I saw Mr. P. in the casket, I experienced reality in a life-changing way.

The next step was the funeral. The right wall of the church was filled with Ivy’s closest friends. When she walked down the aisle with her mother and brother, I remember she looked absolutely gorgeous. The longer the ceremony went, the worse I felt. I took loud, rapid breaths and tears leaked from my eyes, drowning the tissues I held. Ivy turned toward us and her eyes met mine. I mouthed, “I love you” and her lips trembled and she faced the front again, crying. After the funeral, our crying was still uncontrollable, but we all told each other we had to be strong for Ivy. My heart was shattered and my eyes were swollen, but I knew we could make it through this somehow.

Ever since Mr. P.’s death, my life has changed dramatically. He was an amazing father and husband who gave tremendously and took little. He helped others because he wanted to, not because he wanted recognition. I learned that the people in my life should be valued and not taken for granted. I also discovered that it is not about what one has in life; it’s about whom time is spent with. I have been blessed with friends and a loving family I can count on and recognize now that they deserve more “I love yous” and “Thank yous.”

I take a breath, close my eyes, and realize all that I take for granted. It is never too late to change.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 22 comments. Post your own!

cowgirl4everThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm:
This was very well written. I'm sorry for your loss!!
 
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Lindsey31 said...
Apr. 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm:
I loved it! I am seriously tearing up and I am not the crying type. Can I ask: did this really happen? I'm so sorry if it did! You're a great friend and Mr. P seemed like an amazing man! "It is never too late for change." - that is brilliant!
 
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whenimgone said...
Jan. 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm:
Brought tears to my eyes...
 
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-Forever_Myself- said...
Dec. 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm:
You're an amazing writer. And I find this incredibly sad. But the fact that you and Ivy hold such an incredible friendship is just great. At least she'll know that you'll always be there for her no matter what. Friendship and Family are the most important things in life. Some people disrespect their parents and don't care and just take things for granted. What if one day, the things they took for granted, just disappear? Your article is truly inspiring. I loved it and I teared up a little.
 
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jemter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm:
I lost my mom less then a year ago, when I was 12, and my best friend Ramsay has practicly been my life suport. I almost feel bad, it's like I'm giving her pain...
 
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Jenny C. said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm:
I'm crying. And i didn't even know him.... This is an amazing story. And the sad thing is, these things happen everyday and nobody puts it into words. Some do, like you, but i have NEVER read anything this touching.
 
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slr511 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm:
I can completely relate to this story. A year ago I lost my grandfather in a tragic car accident. When I heard what happened, no words could explain how I was feeling. I thought to myself how could this happen to someone so special to my heart. This took me a long time to get over, but I eventually got the courage to heal. 
 
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VincentD2997 said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm:
i am sorry for you  lose that is truly said i to have sufferd a lose my pop pop died not to long ago so i know what our frieand and you fell like. but realise that life goes on and you just have to be strong and don't be scared to let it out some times. friends realy help. keep writing you are god at it
 
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robrobrobin11 said...
Jan. 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm:
I love the overall sense of how close you are to Ivy. Friendship is the greatest and most important love :)
Last year one of my close friend's lost her mother and I know how hard it is to be tough for them, sometimes you just have to cry with them and they won't shun you because even they know you're not superhuman.
Keep writing
 
MemoriesFading replied...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm :
You have to soon, shortly,reply back at me, I never knew such a story could be so heartrending, neverthless heartwarming, it was an amazing piece, a wonderful article but depressingly upsetting. Never should anyone take granted anyone or anything, you have an amazing voice, everyone should be able to listen and hear your crys.
 
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kelly A. said...
Aug. 2, 2009 at 7:42 pm:
That was beautiful you are an amazing writter! it made me shed a few tears. i really love how you explained your emotions as you went along and how you explained yours and ivy's realationship
 
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Austin H. said...
Jun. 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm:
Wat she did was the right thing to do cause I had to do the same thing B4
 
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TiffbutterflyWing said...
May 28, 2009 at 2:48 am:
oh wow! Tears actually came to my eyes. That was beautiful. I loved how close you and Ivy were too. It's an amazingly close relationship and those are the most important in times like that.
 
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Joe R. said...
Apr. 14, 2009 at 10:58 pm:
I understand how you feel. My Grandmother died in September.
 
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BeckyBear123 said...
Feb. 16, 2009 at 4:58 pm:
Omg !
that was so touching. it inspired me greatly ! Keep up the amazing work:)
 
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takencareofbusiness said...
Feb. 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm:
Oh my god, I had an experience similar to this one. And you are right, family deserves more thank you's and i love you's because you really never know when the last moment will really be.
 
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wingedgirl4eva said...
Dec. 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm:
Oh my god that is so touching. I didn't really cry, but I felt on the verge of tears! You are such a good friend to Ivy, and I hope you and her get through this together. It reminded me to live in the moment and appreciate what you have now, because it might be gone tomorrow.
 
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nonelse said...
Dec. 6, 2008 at 3:06 pm:
i haven't cried in at least 7 months, but this actually made me wipe my eyes because it was so amazing, and sad. but still, beautifully writen as well!
 
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daniellemarie said...
Nov. 15, 2008 at 8:30 pm:
this is absolutly amazing, it moved me greatly.
 
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pepod said...
Nov. 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm:
that was a very touching story, and im so sorry for you and for Ivy. That must have been extremely difficult for both of you, and you were strong to write about it and tell everyone. It was a very great peice and i love the title Here Today Gone Tomorrow. With you being Ivys best friend, i am sure this was hard for her to read. You are both very strong girls and keep up the excelent writing!
 
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