The Day I'll Never Forget

January 31, 2011
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I remember it like it was yesterday, yet its already been five and a half long years. May 23rd, 2005. The day I lost my grandma.

I was only about seven at the time but I remember being in the car with my sister, Courtney, and my grandma. Courtney was in the D.A.R.E. program at the time so she had been learning all these facts about the impact that smoking had on people and all the statistics. My grandma smoked a lot and my sister started telling her all this information one time when we were driving some where. She acted surprised by this but never commented. We would always ask, “Grandma, why do you always do that?” “Do what?” she’d ask in return. “Smoke.” we’d say back. An act in which I’ll always hate. But she’d always tell us the same thing. “It’s complicated and hard to quit. Don’t ever do it.” Even before Courtney learned all this we still knew it was bad so we’d always hide her cigarettes in the car like we did on the day we told her all this. That was the first time in our life she had ever even slightly raised her voice at us. So after that we gave up trying to stop her from smoking and to this day I still feel a little guilt for giving up on her so easily.

When I was only nine, I was standing in my parents’ bathroom when they told me and my five year old brother,Tate, that grandma had been diagnosed with lung cancer. I had heard of the term ‘cancer’ before but I wasn’t really quite sure what it was. I didn’t think much about it at the time, I just knew she was really sick. I didn’t anticipate the reality of it though. The next day I talked to my sister about it and was a little upset when I found out that she had already known for a couple weeks. I just couldn’t understand why my parents hadn’t told me until then. After that we started going to visit her more and more and I soon began to see the effects of what was happening. What I didn’t know was how much time I actually had left with her or that it had an up-and-coming expiration date.The last time I was with her, I was reserved and confused. I barely said anything but I remember lying on her bed her in silence. Soon we had to leave so I hugged her and said my goodbye’s and as I walked over to my mom by the door the last thing I remember saying to her was “Bye grandma, I love you.”

She said the same in return and that was the last time I ever talked to her. If only I had known that would be it, I would have made it better and different, and I would’ve made it count.
A couple days later, my brother, sister, and I were all playing video games and we heard my mom coming up the stairs. She entered the room and with look at her face I knew what was about to be said that I didn’t want to hear. I jumped up and ran into my room with tears already pouring down my face and in my ten-year old mind, I couldn’t see how it could ever possibly be okay again.

I still miss her constantly and wish she could be around so I could share everything in my life with her. But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, the reason is just a little harder to find.

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