Disconnected

January 23, 2010
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Disconnected


It wasn’t the blaring phone ring in my ear that woke me up on that early February 14th morning. Nor was it the faint sobbing coming from my parents’ room. What did it was my teary-eyed and distraught mother tapping my shoulder. At first, I ignored her and easily slipped back into sleep mode. Another tap. This time, I groaned softly, and opened my eyes half way. It always seems like you awaken from your sleep right as it’s getting good. Groggy and confused, I turned to see the clock. As the blurry pixels danced to life, I saw that it read 2:38 AM. I whipped my head toward my mom to see her grief-stricken face. At that point, it didn’t take much for me to realize that something was wrong. I knew my grandmother hadn’t been doing too well in the past few weeks, so I thought it was probably about her. So expecting the worst, I closed my eyes tight for protection from the truth I wished was false. As my mother’s words struggled to get out of her mouth, I couldn’t help but to get choked up. To my greatest misery, my prediction of the awful news was confirmed. My grandmother had died. It gave me a feeling like no other; a feeling of emptiness and nothingness. So I just laid there in my bed with a churning stomach next to my mom and dad. Silence. There was heartbreaking silence that was the loudest thing I’d ever heard. I was too shocked for tears and too sad for sleep. As my parents left my room and the lights turned off, I stared at the ceiling and thought, deep thought. We all went to sleep and tried to forget, except for me. I kept asking myself, why do all good things eventually come to an end, but so many bad things remain forever?

So it happened at 2:34 AM on Thursday February 14th. Valentine’s Day. The day of love. The day of happiness. In a way, it was the best for her to die on that day. It was fitting, or at least as fitting as it could get, that a woman with enough love to fill the world died on this day. It was supposed to happen. February 14th remains in my heart as the day that my grandmother passed, and the day that I found true meaning in the saying “everything happens for a reason”.

My grandma lived in Atlanta, Georgia, and because of that, it was difficult to see her, and every time I did, I made the most of it. The last time I saw her was in mid January. It was after my great-aunt, who also lived in Atlanta, died. Since we were in the area, we decided to pay her a visit. The last time I talked to her was a couple of weeks before. She asked me how I was and being my shy self, I responded, “Good.” When I asked her how she was doing, there was no response. I looked at the phone and saw that the line had cut off. My grandmother and I had gotten disconnected. So, I didn’t really know how she was doing. As my extended family, all thirty of them, piled into cars, I squeezed into the car with my mother in it. The ride to the hospital in which my grandma was staying was uncomfortable for two reasons. One, It was hot, even in mid January. That tells you a little something about the weather in the south, and two, I felt something, something odd, something indescribable. It surged through my blood and pounded in my heart. I thought it was pretty insignificant so I ignored it and kept feeling sorry for myself that I was cramped up in the little car. We rolled up to the hospital doors and walked in. I wasn’t very comfortable walking through the hospital so everything was pretty vague to me. Something about walking through the halls where sick people, surgery patients, and pregnant women go through everyday made me shiver. I could see everyone’s look in their eyes and saw that theirs didn’t match mine as we walked into room 107a. What they were feeling was called excitement and what I was feeling was called fear. I also noticed that it was the same feeling from the car ride. I don’t know why. It puzzled me. I loved my grandma and wasn’t scared at all when I was with her, so I don’t know what gave me that feeling. I crept into the room, took a seat out of sight from everyone and sat there staring into space. Why was I feeling so uneasy about being with my grandma? I should’ve felt happy. I glanced over to see my brother leaning over for a kiss on the cheek from my frail grandma. They both looked so pleased to see each other. I wanted to feel the same way, but I couldn’t. Instead, I was sitting there, wishing to not be there. I hated saying to myself that I didn’t want to be there, but it was true in a way. Before I knew it, my mom called me up to go to my grandmother and fear was all that was in me as I slowly, almost tiptoed up to my grandma. What was so scary? Why didn’t I feel like everyone else? It was just my grandma. I was now at her side and she put her hand in mine. I felt her soft, stretchy skin barely covering her fragile, weak bones. I turned my face to hers and we gazed at each other. Her eyes were so entrancing and mesmerizing. I gave her a strong look. I looked her up and down and that is when I realized how powerless she was. It filled me with unbearable sadness. I then received my kiss from her, said, “Hi,” and we exchanged a few words. The last thing I heard her say to me before I turned and walked away was, “Take care,” and the last thing I said to her was, “I will.” Shortly after that, my family left the room. I was the last one to leave, and the last one to see her. As I turned the corner, I glanced at my grandmother and smirked at her unknowing that it was the last time that I would ever see my grandma again.

I often think back to the last time that I saw my grandmother, and it fills me with grief every time. I was so scared that day when I saw her and I didn’t know why. I now understand that I was so frightful because I was scared for her. I knew she wasn’t in good condition and I was scared that something bad would happen. So instead of taking advantage of a rare visit to my grandmother, I wasted it. I was so worried that something bad would happen, and now it did and the last thing I have to remember her by is feeling scared around her. The way I feel is disconnected. I feel like my grandma and I got cut off, just like the telephone call because our ending was so abrupt. I occasionally tear up, but that’s good because when you don’t show any type of emotion, the barriers you keep around you to protect yourself from sadness also keep out the joy. It was a beautiful thing that so many friends and family members of my grandmother could all join together and see her. Out of all the grief that the last visit with my grandma gives me, that is something that fills me with bliss. My grandmother left a legacy of herself of love and happiness. That’s why Valentine’s Day has always been a day that I think of my grandma. It is incredibly coincidental that that was the day she died on. It was destiny. My grandma taught me so many things throughout my life. Even her death was a lesson. It taught me to live every moment with people like it’s your last because when it actually is, you won’t have any regrets.





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