Purple Balloon

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Have you ever sat down and thought about the worst day in your life? I have. Some people, when they think of this day, see all the clothes they did not get or maybe the time they were not able to go out with a friend. Not me. I think of the time I almost lost my father.

It was a normal day at home for me. I had already gotten home from school and was just about to eat a snack when the phone rang. Now, in my house there were six children all younger than I was, so answering the phone was something of a race. Whoever got there first won. Since I was the oldest and closer to the phone, I won.

I picked up the phone, and what I heard seemed to make the very air around me darken. "Hello, this is the county sheriff. There's been an accident. May I speak to a Mrs. Jessica S.?" Numb and scared, I handed the phone to my mother. She took the phone and listened. I was able to watch as her face faded from a happy smile to an absolutely horrified expression. After she hung up the phone she faced all six of her children and said: "Your father is in the hospital."

Time seemed to slow. Quickly, we all got dressed then piled into our too small car. As we drove away to the hospital, I looked into the rear view mirror. The one thing I noticed was a small purple balloon floating over our lone, grey house. I convinced myself that the purple balloon would watch over my father, wherever he was.

Finally, we arrived at the hospital. Doctors were everywhere in the huge building, or at least that is how my seven year-old-self remembers it. My siblings and I were told to sit in a row of adjacent chairs. We did. If someone walked in they would have seen six small children, all wide-eyed and holding hands from fear.

It seemed we waited for hours in our seats, twitching for information, before our mother came out and told us our father was fine. She gathered us up and took us to a small, stuffy room to see him. The moment I laid eyes on him, I realized how much I loved him. I had not cried until that moment... The moment I knew he was okay.

To this day, I am thankful for that purple balloon. It may not have done anything in actuality, but in my young mind, it did everything.





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