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She's Really Gone This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When I was young, I thought my mom would live forever, but on June 28, 2003 my sister and I were called downstairs for an announcement. It was the beginning of the end.

It began with breast cancer in 1996 that returned in 2000. Then in 2003, my mom had brain operations in January and May because of tumors. Because of her last brain tumor, she suffered from double vision and couldn't walk.

When they called us down that day, my mom sat silently, looking as if it were almost too painful to cry. Next to her sat my dad with his arm around her and his eyes a little red. Trying to keep in the tears, he choked out the words, "The tumor's back, and growing fast. She might not make it through the summer." I sat in shock, unable to cry.

I didn't even realize when my dad got up and my sister ran to my mom's side, crying and giving her a hug. I heard my mom whispering over and over, "I'm sorry." At first I was filled with anger - I was angry with the doctors for not being able to do anything, and angry with God because I didn't understand why this was happening. My mom kept saying she was tired and ready to go. Hearing her say that made me even angrier. It felt like she was giving up.

Slowly my mom got worse. It got harder for her to talk or eat. I kept hoping for a miracle, that suddenly she would be better. One day our family went to the beach because my mom wanted to watch the sun set. Walking along the beach, my sister brought up that our mom was dying. I hated talking about it and had always changed the subject, but this time my sister asked, "If Mom lived, but had to live like this, do you think it would be better?"

I said, "It'd be bad for her because she would have to suffer, but good for us because at least she'd be here." My sister looked at me and asked, "Are you sure it would be better for us?"

Time passed, and I watched my mom get worse and worse. It was so bad at the end that she couldn't chew food or talk. She started losing her eyesight, hearing and memory. Once she even forgot who I was.

In the final days, she went into a coma. A part of me wanted her to go so that she wouldn't have to suffer, but I also didn't want her to die. I came home from school on that Friday, January 16 to find her still in the coma, lying in the hospital bed. She was breathing really slowly and heavily. My grandma sat by her side talking to her. I heard the doorbell ring. It was my friend. We talked outside for a few minutes when suddenly my sister opened the door. I looked at her and she gave me this look. She opened her mouth, but couldn't say anything. I knew what she was trying to tell me.

When I ran in, I heard my grandma's screams. Her were so loud that I remember wanting to shut the windows in fear that the neighbors would hear. My sister held my youngest brother as I held my other brother. We all cried. We weren't surprised or in shock, but now that the moment had come, we didn't know what to do. I felt both relieved and sad looking down at my mother. She's really gone, I thought. I noticed the dark skin color under her nails. Touching her body made me scared as I said my last good-byes knowing I wouldn't see her again. I wasn't angry anymore, because I realized my mom never gave up. I had to let her go, knowing her eight years of suffering were over. Sometimes you have to give something up or accept something bad in order to make everything better.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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