The Ending

October 1, 2008
By Jennifer Rubinstein, Portland, OR

“Denny fell” those words rang in my head. Have you ever fallen before? If you have, you’d know the feeling of fear, horror and anxiety when you fall. A kind, bright, thin man fell onto the compressed and solid cement. Denny did fall on August 4, 2005.
It was mid-July, when my dad and I went to Tacoma, to visit Uncle Denny and Aunt Karen. I was going into 5th grade. My dad decided to take me because he wanted to see his Uncle Denny and Aunt Karen. They were my great aunt and uncle. We stayed for about a week, and it was a week I’ll never forget because that was the last time I ever saw my Uncle Denny. What I remember most from the trip was drawing a picture of their remarkable view, as I was looking through their window from their apartment. I also remember how relaxed and kind Uncle Denny was. He was and still is a very inspiring person to me because I wish I could be as mellow as he is. I miss seeing his good posture, just like Abraham Lincoln sitting on his padded chair.
About two weeks later on August 4, 2005, I was walking my dog Tanya in our neighborhood around 5:00 in the evening. It was a cool night and there was a chill in the air.
All of a sudden, Kate my sister was behind me yelling out of breath, “Jenny come home¬¬, Denny fell!” I didn’t understand what she was saying, but I followed her home. When I walked in through our wooden back door I saw my mom and dad talking in the kitchen. I saw my dad’s red face wet with tears from crying. These made me worried with my eyes freeze in confusion.
My mom in her gentle voice, not knowing how to say it whispered, “Denny was on a ladder cutting a tree at his beach house today. He wanted to get one other branch; he leaned over to cut it. He got off balance and fell on the cement ground, on his head. He is in the hospital now, and is probably going to die.” I could feel my eyebrows tighten on my forehead, my eyes blurry with confusion, hoping my mom was wrong. Without much to say, I pushed through the kitchen door and sauntered to the bottom of the steps.
I remember praying for Denny and saying with a cracked, but strong voice, “Please God, help Denny heal and live, make it a miracle and he’ll be fine, please God I want him to live, please help him. I love him, it’s not fair! Help him heal and be fine! Thank you, Amen.”
What was even eerier about the situation was that about twenty minutes later, when the ambulance had arrived at Denny’s house my grandmother Dede, Denny’s sister called to talk to him. When his wife Aunt Karen answered, she told Dede that Denny had fallen and was being transported to the hospital. Dede, my grandmother drove up that night to visit her brother. As she walked into the hospital he was dying. She held his hand and said goodbye. He died within the next few minutes. We also wanted to visit him, but we weren’t able too.
Time is everything and maybe if my grandma had called twenty minutes earlier he would of answered it and not gone back on the ladder.

The next morning I woke up and I heard the tragic news. I couldn’t believe it because Denny was the happiest, brightest and healthiest man. He was so thin and tall like a string bean and was only sixty-five years old!
A few days later my family and I drove up to Tacoma for Denny’s funeral. It was really hard for me to see my grandma Dede and my dad crying. It was the first time I really experienced and understood death. My great grandma and great grandpa had died when I was about five years old, but I didn’t understand it as well. When I saw the light colored wood casket, I knew Denny was inside of it. He was buried right next to his parents in a beautiful natural cemetery. It is a special place for me, to visit, because my great grandparents and uncle Denny were buried there. There are a lot of trees in the cemetery and their roots seem to me, to connect the people together.
Since uncle Denny died, I have been back to visit; usually in the last few weeks of summer I go to their beach house with my dad and grandma Dede to visit aunt Karen with their children and grandchildren. I love being there because not only does the beach have unique treasures to find, but also I see where Denny fell and I sit right next to the tree where he fell. I look up and see its thin sad branches that tell me the story over and over again. I always look forward to going there. We also stop by the cemetery and I pick out a rock from the dirt to put on Denny’s rectangular and smooth gravestone. I say a prayer for him and get cold inside. I feel as close as I can get to him when I stand there. His unique personality will always be inside my heart. I really wonder where he is today, in Heaven, in our hearts or wherever his ending took him.
Denny really had taken a sharp fall. My dad and I always say, with a cracked voice and than a chill of emotions sail through our body, “It was a total fluke and tragic death.” That makes me even more scared because a person really does have one chance in life. I definitely witnessed the one chance rule from Denny.
I miss Denny very much and I wish I could have known him better before his fall.
This experience really made me understand that not everything in life is happy and perfect; there is some bad and some good, hopefully much more good. I try to learn from it, because that is the best way I can look at it. The ending always comes, for a good life is like a rose: it starts as a bud, grows into a beautiful and colorful flower, then gets old and crinkled as it falls to the ground, and its stem is no longer alive. It goes into the soil and its roots dissolve, and just like us, the memory of its beauty will stay alive. It can still be in our heart if we keep it safe and remember the rose when it was in full bloom. The rose fell to the ending, just like Denny.

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This article has 1 comment.

Susan said...
on Oct. 25 2008 at 11:45 pm
What a wonderful, wonderful story. I felt every bit of it as I read it.

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