Your Words Remain

February 18, 2011
To start, I remember her cinnamon skin and hazel eyes. I could always count on her if I was in any trouble. She was the person I depended on -- my grandmother. I’ve lost her, but the love I have for her will never die.

Looking back, When I was young, my grandmother would always babysit me and my sister, Maria, who’s one year younger than I am. Since my mom worked night shifts, my sister and I learned to call her “mom”. We always caused her trouble.

“I told you not to pull that cat’s tail anymore!, ” she would say.

“But, it’s fun!” we’d reply.

“Well stop,” she’d state with a tired face.

The day we lost her was a shock. My sister, who grew a few inches that summer and hair the color of ebony was surprised to hear the news they told us. Sal, my uncle, used to be in the navy, very tall and well fit, looked a bit gloomy sitting there in the silence.

“Hey uncle, where’s Mom?’

“She’s at the hospital,” he replied with a soft voice.

“What? What happened to her?” Maria asked.

“Your mom took her to the hospital because she was having stomach pain.”

With this in mind, crazy ideas started going through my mind. I tried very hard to not let this type of thing get into my mind. She was in the hospital for three days. My mom kept telling me that everything was going to be alright, but I knew that things weren't going to get any better soon.

Soon enough, she came back home. It turned out my grandma had liver cancer. In this part, I couldn’t believe it. I broke down and cried. I didn’t want my family to worry about me. I tried to hide myself from this horrible situation. I remember asking my grandmother if she was okay and told her if she needed anything I was there to help.

“Mom, if you need help... tell me,” I told her in Spanish.

“Don’t worry, you focus in school and I’ll focus on getting better. Just give me those good grades.”

“Okay..” I responded.

At this point, I was in my second semester of the 8th grade. It took a lot of effort to keep my grades up because of this situation. My mom was telling me things were going to get better, we just have to had hope. She was driving me to school one morning and I looked around me, everything seemed to be in a slow motion. I would see kids crossing the streets with their parents holding on to their hands. Teenagers were laughing with friends at a bus stop. I remember asking myself if my life was going to change because of this experience. Everything around me seemed normal, but my world was falling apart.

Suddenly, October 27, 2009, my world crashed completely. That night my grandmother passed away. My whole family was there when she took her last breath. The room was big enough to fit a hospital bed with machines around her to give her oxygen. My family started shedding tears when they realized she had passed. I wasn’t in the room because I couldn’t bare the pain I felt.

Now, a year has gone and my love for her is strong as if she was still alive. Later, when I went back to school, people like the school counselor helped me through my grief. I was assigned a class with a room full of students my age who had gone through a similar situation in their lives. This class made me realize how every person is not alone when dealing with a predicament like this.

A year later, I learned from this experience that there are more people out there going through the same pain that happened to me. My grandmother’s death was hard for me to face, but I will never forget how she believed in me. She wanted me to do well in school and accomplish my goals in life. Now, my dream is to help others overcome their grief. Some years from now, I would like to help people the way others helped me. My dream is to graduate from Princeton college and specialize in cancer research and help the ones in need when dealing with a situation like this. I want people to go through less pain than when I did.

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