Mysterious Disappearance This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I checked themessages on the answering machine. The little red lightflashed twice. The first message was from my grandfather. Youcould hardly tell what he was saying because he startedtalking before the machine beeped. He was virtually deaf andwould not have heard the recording on the machine.

Thesecond message changed my life forever. "Hi, this isJeanne (my mom's sister). I was just calling to make sure ourparents didn't come to visit you this weekend. We don't knowwhere they are. The nursing home said Dad (my grandfather)checked Mom out yesterday morning and hasn't brought her backyet. We had the police go by the house, but they saw nothingunusual. Call me when you get a chance."

I wasthe only one to hear the message. I told Mom, "They can'tfind Gram and Ed." She was stunned; she played themessage again as we all listened. Nobody knew what to say; wemust have listened to it three times in a row.

Later Iwas on the phone with my best friend and said, "Hey,guess what! They can't find my grandparents." He soundedshocked, but at the time I didn't think it was that big adeal.

When a couple of days passed, my mom filed amissing persons report. By then I was starting to realize Imight never see them again. My friends tried to reassure methey were okay and would be found soon. As the week continued,I became more distracted and quieter. I talked to morerelatives that week than in my whole life.

Sunday (aweek after the first message - and Mother's Day) I got homefrom church choir and knew what had happened just by lookingat my family's faces. My uncle heard from the detective - mygrandparents had been found and weredead.

     Apparently they haddriven up the hill outside the city, perhaps to watch thesunset. My grandfather died soon after they got there. The carcould not be driven due to damage from the rough terrain. Heeither had a heart attack or a stroke. Exposure to the weatherand dehydration eventually got the best of my grandmother. Shehad Alzheimer's disease (a disease that affects the memory).When she was left alone on the hill, she probably couldn'tfind her way down. She might not even have realized mygrandfather was dead.

"Devoted" perfectlydescribes their relationship of almost 50 years. Mygrandmother was my grandfather's ears, and he was her memory.He wanted the best for her, even when that meant putting herin a home for Alzheimer's patients. At least they were able to"go home" together. This was definitely the saddestweek of my life. I only wish we knew why they went up on thehill in the first place.



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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