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Taken

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I cringe when I hear the syllables can connect to cer. The sounds making the word cancer, when it comes out of some one’s mouth, I want to push it back in. I want to pretend it’s not there even though I know it is.

Why take innocent people, who have so much to live for in life? Death is un-doable and that’s the worst part. Too many lives gone, taken forever. The doctors who tell multiple patients not to worry and that you will be okay. If Tess was going to be okay she would still be here. I was so young; I have only vague but treasured memories of her. The sad part is, that Tess was sick for most of the time I remember her.
The one image I will never forget, I was sitting on the familiar dining room table of Tess’s house, where our families shared many dinners together. I faced the stair way hearing loud voices and music from the summer party held at her house. I watched as Gordon, Tess’s father, struggled to carry her plump seven year old body up the stairs.

Tess wasn’t always plump, I don’t know if it was from the cancer alone or the medicine or the chemo. If only the chemo had worked. There was little of what was left of Tess’s bleach blond hair, similar to mine. Almost bald but still little wisps of white flying from the fan above me. She was dressed in some red and white outfit; she looked dazed and confused and tired.

I was so young; why did I not recognize my friend’s familiar face? Why did she look so different? I was scared and confused, why couldn’t Tess go kayaking with me and swimming with me or jump on the trampoline with me anymore like we used to? I was smart enough to know something was wrong but back then the word cancer didn’t mean anything to me.

Before I could understand I was losing my friend, she was gone with stage four brain cancer. A rare type of cancer that barely anyone ever gets. Tess lived for three more years that she was supposed to. But why, if this was so rare, why give it to Tess? Seven years old and not ready to go. Little girls have a lot to live for.

I remember bits and pieces of the funeral, not really knowing what was going on. I remember the yellow butterfly I got to take home that was hanging from the ceiling. Alyssa, my sister, got a purple one. She told me angels took Tess away and that’s why she was with one of Tess’s sisters Loralee all day helping get Tess ready. Alyssa and Loralee were best friends. I was also told that if god was real, maybe Tess would still be here.





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