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A Moment To Remember

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For months my grandpa clouded my thoughts. I thought about him because he was old, he had lung cancer, he could barely walk, and he was, and still is, my grandpa. But my last memory of him is really a moment to remember.
Fourth grade, if I remember correctly, I was in the school band and I slacked off a lot in it because the band required morning practices on Thursdays. It was a Thursday when my mom knocked on the door of my room, looking as if she’s been awake for hours. “You have to go to school early, right?” she asked, her voice light and completely normal. A bit confused because she never woke me up in person, I glanced at my clock and nodded.
I was puzzled for some reason, because I wasn’t sleepy when I woke up, like I usually am. I blinked a few times, wide-awake then followed my mom to her room because that’s where the bathroom is and I brushed my teeth. Meanwhile, I overheard my mom on the phone talking in a way you do when you try to convince someone everything is all right when it isn’t.
“Yeah, my mom’s good,” my mom was saying. “We’re just a bit shocked. It’s not like it wasn’t expected but . . . you know.” Not only was I confused as to why my mom was on the phone so early in the morning, I wondered what she was talking about. What could possibly be wrong with my grandma?
I exited my mom’s room, pondering the thought, when I saw her, my grandma, standing a bit far off from my grandpa, who lay where he always did on his sofa bed. He was still and unmoving and my grandma looked at him with a sad smile playing on her mouth. I looked at her and back at my grandpa, not welcoming this new puzzle. Why wasn’t he awake? He was usually awake before everyone else in the house.
I went back to my room, these puzzles swimming through my mind and, behind it all, my grandpa’s face, so peaceful. I went back to the kitchen, which is connected to where my grandpa slept. Now joining my grandparents were my mom and my uncle, both looking at my grandpa’s face solemnly. I glanced from the three adults to my grandpa, not making any connection. My uncle was taking me to school apparently and he gestured for me to go to the garage and I was too baffled to tell him it was too early to leave yet. So I headed to the door that led to the garage before my grandma, reminding me to say goodbye to my grandpa, stopped me.
Then something clicked in my head. These adults with their sad faces and that phone call and suddenly my grandpa looked so very pale, almost white as opposed to his tan skin. They were all hiding a very important secret: this would be my last goodbye to my grandpa.
My hands were shaking and I tried to keep it from my voice as I looked at my grandpa’s very pale and peaceful face and said, “Bye.”




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