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Focus: Grandparents: The Pink Hat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Ona beautiful summer day six years ago, my grandmother and I were walkingon a Cape Cod beach. We collected shells, chased seagulls and scamperedacross the dunes. It seemed like a perfect day. When we returned to thecottage, however, she couldn't remember where she was or what she wasdoing. Panic-stricken, my parents, aunts and uncles rushed her to thehospital. After many tests, doctors discovered a brain tumor andannounced that she must undergo surgery.

After the surgery, whichseemed a success, Nana was allowed to return to her home. A few weekslater, my mother and I made a surprise visit. When I saw her swollenhead, with a row of giant staples, I nearly fainted in shock. It wastraumatic for her, too, when she saw the terror in my eyes. Whileconsoling me, she snatched her pink hat from the kitchen table andplaced it on her head. She never took it off in my presence.

Mygrandmother's condition worsened, and eventually she was confined to ahospital bed. Her children visited daily, spending countless hoursentertaining her. Nana announced she wanted to go home, even though thedoctors opposed the idea. Eventually, they relented.

Twenty-fourhours a day, my family cared for Nana. My mother slept at Nana's houseevery Thursday. On Friday afternoons, she picked me up at school with asmile on her face. When she thought I was playing outside, I heard hercrying in the bedroom.

Nana's condition worsened even more, so wecalled my Uncle Jimmy in California. When he arrived, Nana summoned allher strength to walk across the living room and embrace him. A fewnights later, in the presence of her eight children, my grandmotherpassed away. We were heartbroken, yet, at the same time, thankful shewas no longer suffering.

I still miss my grandmother. Every timeI win an award or get my report card, I think of her. Nana, animmigrant, was forced to leave elementary school to work on the farm.She always said education is the key to a successful life. She lovedlearning new things, and imparted her love of learning to her children.Nana was always there to support me, and her encouraging words willremain in my heart forever.




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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