Peeing and After

March 14, 2008
By So Yeon Park, Culver, IN

The lukewarm liquid slowly yellowed a white carpet as it spread. As I entered the kitchen and traced the yellow flow to its origin, I saw my Grandma’s wet feet.

“Grandma, did you just pee on the floor?”

Silence. I wasn’t used to a quiet Grandma. She was notorious for talking so loudly on the phone I could hear her from the apartment lobby 11, 12, even 13 floors below.

She grabbed a floor cloth and scrubbed the wetness from the carpet. I stared blankly, then took the floor cloth from her and cleaned the damp stain. She slowly raised herself and staggered to her room. And she never raised her voice again.

This summer, I hugged Grandma before I headed to the airport for my flight back to school in Indiana. “I will see you next year, Grandma!” She smiled—a smile I hadn’t seen during the whole summer break.

“Why are you smiling?” I asked her.

“You sound just as loud as I did when I was your age.” Then I remembered the lukewarm liquid that took her confident, clamoring ha-has. I gazed at her revived eyes.

“Be safe, So Yeon,” she said. She smiled again, and slightly took my hands as we walked to an elevator. When I pressed the first floor button, I saw an old lady saying goodbye to her granddaughter once more. Barely able to stand, barely able to see, barely able to speak.

“Bye, Grandma!” I shouted as loud as I can.

I heard her laugh from that moment until the elevator reached the lobby.

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