A Life Changed

January 25, 2010
By Victoria Hartzog BRONZE, Chaska, Minnesota
Victoria Hartzog BRONZE, Chaska, Minnesota
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Because I have loved life, I have no sorrow to die.”
-Amelia Burr

I was a sophomore in high school when my life was completely changed. My parents had sat me down one evening and had told me that we were going to be moving to Minnesota. At first I was thrilled, but the realization of the move slowly began to seep in and I wasn’t as happy to move. Moving meant having to say goodbye to my friends and it meant starting off in a new place and having to make new friends. I wanted to cry, because deep down I didn’t want to leave Ohio, but the tears just wouldn’t come. It wasn’t until April that the tears came, but not because of the move.
My mom received a telephone call one day during the week; she got up from the dinner table and took the call privately, which was very unusual. When she came back to the table her face was filled with sadness and that’s when she told my brother and I that Grandma’s cancer was back, but not in her breast, in her esophagus. The news hit me like a bullet and I spent that night crying myself to sleep. A few weeks later, we received even worse news. My Grandma was terminally ill with cancer. When I finally grasped that word ‘terminal’ I realized that my Grandma was dying. That day at school I made it through three periods and then I completely lost it. I just kept crying and crying, my friends tried to comfort me, but what could they say? “It’s going to be ok?” But it wasn’t going to be ok, one way or the other I was going to lose one of the most important people in my life and there was nothing I could do to prevent that. The next couple of months went by and we went on living our lives like normal.
Then June came and school ended. And then it was time to pack the moving van and head to our new home in Minnesota. But on the day we packed up the car ready to journey on the open road, my mom got the call that my grandma was in the hospital at the University of Chicago. We altered our plans, now making a pit stop in Chicago. The entire car ride to Chicago was silent. Not once did my brother or I say anything because we both knew that this could be the last time we saw our Grandma. Each minute that passed felt like we were getting closer and closer to something, but I couldn’t tell what that something was. I didn’t know what to expect at the hospital, I had never seen my Grandma sick, not even when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2002. When we arrived at the hospital the only thing I remember feeling were the tears falling down my cheeks. It was as if my whole body went numb, like I was shielding myself from the pain and the sadness. I didn’t want this to be reality and no matter how strong I tried to be the tears just kept falling. That day there is only one thing that I remember clearly that my Grandma told me. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Grandma’s sorry she is not going to see you graduate.”

When she said those words I knew that this was reality and somehow I had to accept that. God had a plan for her and I had to be willing to accept his plan. The doctors told my Grandma that the most she was going to live was two years; those two years ended up being six months. The last time I saw my grandma alive was in July. She passed away on September 23, 2008. The one thing I regret is that I never really got to say goodbye. I could have picked up the phone many times and given her a call, but I didn’t. I didn’t want it to be real and the more I put off a goodbye the more I believed that she wasn’t dying and that she would be able to see me graduate. My Grandma loved life and even though she is no longer here on earth, I know that when I step onto that stage and receive my diploma she will be smiling down from heaven. Because I got to know my wonderful and loving grandma for 16 years of my life and I will never forget those 16 years, they will always be locked inside my heart.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 8 2010 at 8:39 pm
All I can say is wow! I know how hard this must have been to write this piece because i know the feeling of loosing someone so close. I lost my grandpa on September 23, 2009 (no lie). A lot of the feeling you metioned in you memoir are some of the same one i still feel. I want to go back to that last day i saw hi alive and tell him i love him and say good bye. the last time i saw him i kind of knew because he was sick again but god thought it was his time to go. the last thing i remeber talking to him about was driving and my dancing:). like you my grandpa wont be able to see me graduate(i graduate in 2012). I really admire you for sharing you story and i hope you keep writing!

Meg :)


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