Nothing's the Same

October 5, 2008
The bright mid-morning sun shone in my face. Wincing, I tried to avoid its awakening glares. There was something different about this morning, something heavy and quiet filling the house. I rose from my warm comfortable dreamland, rubbing my swollen sleep filled eyes. Wondering where everyone was, I slowly dragged my feet across the floor into my sister’s room. Our eyes met and I noticed she had a very solemn face, almost numb to emotion.

“You need to talk to dad” her words hit me like a ninety-mile an hour baseball to the chest.

“Why?” I felt as if I could have answered my question as quickly as I had asked it.

Solemnly, I walked down the stairs as I prayed that my thoughts were wrong. I took every last painful step into the kitchen as I watched my dad sitting at the table reading, as if it were any other morning. I felt relief seeing this, until he saw me, and all normalcies disappeared.

“Dad? Why do I have to talk to you?” I could feel the boiling hot tears rising to my eyes, waiting to erupt into cheek staining streaks across my face.

“I’m so sorry honey, your Grandpa, he passed away last night. There was nothing they could do.” The words he spoke were surreal.

No matter how much preparation I had for this moment I could still feel my heart dropping to the depths of my stomach. A rush of unsolvable emotions came through me, as I held on tight to my dad, sobbing. So many thoughts were running though my mind. How would I deal with knowing I would never get one of those giant bear hugs. Would I forget the slight smell of peppermint and tobacco from those sweet days back when there were no problems, no medical procedures, and no death? The rest of the day the air in my house lay thick with emotion. No one dared to speak, and even if they did, I probably wouldn’t have heard.

I began questioning, wondering how school would go the next day. Could people see this death on my face? Would I have to miss school? Before I could think about anything else, my mother walked through the door. She would know what to do, she would be strong for me. Then I caught a glimpse of something I had never seen, my always brave and confident mother, with small bolts of red lightning all over the smooth whites of her eyes. She had cried too, she was weak too, and nothing would ever be the same.

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