The Day That Changed My Life

September 29, 2008
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I'd just finished my homework when I got the news. Mom said, "Your grandpa's going into the hospital in a week for heart surgery". The next day I went visit grandpa at his house, to tell him good luck, and that everything will be fine. The surgery goes well as planed. He is doing well, but because he is in the ICU, I cannot go visit. Two weeks go by, with ups and downs, good news and bad news. I go on with my daily life, school, homework, and friends. We continue to get news about grandpa- from my aunts and uncles and from my father, who visited him every time he could.

Two weeks go by. So far, so good, my grandpa is in stable-condition. It's the night before President's Day, which we have as a holiday, which means no school Monday. I have my imagination club the next day, and I'm so excited. I go to bed fast, out like a light. I wake up to the phone ringing. "That's weird", I think to myself, as I look at my clock and see that it's almost 8 am, "I don't think I've ever woken up to the phone ringing before". After about 5 minutes, my mom comes into my room. Tears are running down her cheeks as she walks in, still in her pink flannel nightgown. I sit up, unaware of the news about to come and shatter my morning. She says through a phlegmy voice, "Emma, honey, your grandpa had a stroke".

I didn't know how to react. I jump up on my bed and yell for my mom, running over my dog, and into her arms. I'm freaked out, no way; there is absolutely no way this is happening to me. My mom puts me down to go wake up my brother. He is just as shocked as me, choked up, afraid. I'm not sure what came over me, but I start yelling, "My grampy is going to die", and my brother starts to cry.

The next part of the story is very blurry, the car ride to the hospital, the elevator ride. But as we came to our floor, and the doors open wide, I can see my dad crouched down on the floor sobbing. At that moment in time my heart stops. I realized just how bad the situation was. I look around and see a lot of my family members, my aunts and uncles, my grandpa’s siblings, and everyone is in a panic. Our Alfred was dying, and we could do nothing.

I go to see my grandpa, in his room, with my brother and my cousins. He’s hooked up to so many machines and he has a wet washcloth on his forehead. This man is my grandpa, but he looks so weak. As he holds my hand, I remember telling him through tears that I loved him, and that I would see him sooner than we thought. All of the adults went into the family planning room and decided to take my grandpa off life support. My cousin Christi comes down the hall to give us the message. They are taking grandpa off life support.

For the next three days, my grandpa hangs on to say good-bye to the rest of our family. My whole family flies in to say their last words. On February 23, 2005, my grandpa died. It was very sad. The funeral was so hard for me to get through. We all cried, and held each other, through the service and the burial. I cried all during the songs and on the way back to the church. We had a luncheon waiting for us, and afterwards we brought all the flowers back to my grandma’s house. After my grandpa died, I went through stages. Losing someone you love is a really hard thing. I felt guilty, and angry, and sad, and sometimes I didn’t feel anything at all. Losing my grandpa was probably the hardest thing I had to go through. I hope that I will not have to go through this pain anytime soon.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss.  This was very sad and sweet, you wrote it perfectly.
EmIsHere replied...
Aug. 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Thank you. I apprecitate all your feedback.
supercouskris said...
Sept. 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Hey Em,
I am embarrassed to say...I just read this for the first time. I kept meaning to go back and read it...I knew it would bring up feelings so, I kept putting it off. I am so glad I finally took the leap. You are a phenomenal writer and I know Grandpa felt the enormous amount of love surrounding him.
a grandma said...
Feb. 9, 2009 at 6:06 am
Emma, your story is very touching. Your grandpa would be very proud of you.
I hope you continue to write. I am so sorry you about your grandpa.
fergus said...
Dec. 6, 2008 at 5:53 pm
The title of your story is "The Day that changed My Life." You never explained how it changed your life. It was a very moving story and well written, but you might choose a different title.
MOM said...
Oct. 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm
Emma, I am so proud of you! I know this was so hard to write about.
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