A Leap to Pain

May 14, 2008
Standardized testing. Standardized testing is something that all students must face throughout their school career. In Louisiana, we take what’s called the LEAP test in 4th and 8th grade. LEAP is basically a miniature graduate exit exam, for lower levels. They tend to be pretty simple tests, but during my 8th grade year, I had no idea how difficult the LEAP week could be.
My friends and I were just standing around outside during lunch recess, when I heard my name being called over the school’s intercom to report to the office. My first reaction was, “Cool! I get to check out, but wait a minute, it’s LEAP week. Why am I getting checked out?.” If I knew what I knew now, I would have never gotten that excited.
I hurried to reach the office, and upon doing saw I saw my sister. “Stacey, why are you checking? Don’t you know it’s LEAP week?,” I asked. “Get in the car, NOW!,” she exclaimed. I had never seen my sister like this. My sister is normally such a sweet person, but at that moment, I knew something had to be wrong for her to talk like that.
After we got in the car, she finally told me what happened. My world came crumbling in. I couldn’t believe it. “How could this happen? This happened to our dad? He’s too young for that!,” all these thoughts ran through my head. I asked her what happened, but she didn’t know much. That was the worst ride ever. The thoughts running through our heads were almost unbearable.
Eventually we reached the hospital, and things were no better. My mother explained to us what had happened. I didn’t care that much about what exactly had happened; all I cared about was what was going on then. I wanted to know, but no one knew. We waited for hours to find out information from the doctors. People kept calling; all these people wanted to know how he was. “We don’t even know. Stop calling! This is so hard! Just leave us alone,” I thought.
Finally we met with the doctor. He talked about all kinds of arteries and blockage and stuff; I didn’t understand any of this. Finally I heard what I wanted to here “He should be ok.” This was such a huge relief.
Eventually my dad made a full recovery, and he is better than ever now. He doesn’t remember anything from that week, and I think that is a blessing for him. My sisters, mother and I remember this week, and we wish we didn’t. He was lucky about the time and place that his heart attack happened though. The local fire department was having lunch at his store, when he dropped. They were able to shock him back to life using an AED , if they would not have been there, he would have been dead. Going through the experience of almost losing someone as close to me as my dad was horrible, but it has made me stronger. I cherish life much more now, and I live days much more to the fullest. It taught me to put petty things behind, because you never know when someone won’t be there the next day.

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