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It was Friday night and I was spending it over at my grandmother's house. Why? Because I was seven and never really had any true friends. I only had my grandmother and my mother. Since I was so young, I didn't really understand everything about the world. My nicety would soon end.
Lying on my white mattress that was supported by a two foot high grey frame like a calm cloud on a stormy day. I stayed up with my grandmother. She laid on the yellow couch with memories not only mentally, but visibly stained on there. Notice I don't say sleeping. No one in the little house I call "home" got any sleep that night before St.Patrick's Day.
Earlier that day, my grandmother had to go to the doctor for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Before we went to bed, she began complaining about how her neck was starting to hurt. That night, it grew worse and worse right before my pure eyes. I watched her grow weak. Grow frail. Into nothing. She became paralyzed from the waist down and the penalization slowly crawled up her weakening body, taking over. She ridded her blood, her life, out of her cracking mouth. Puddles of crimson lay below her, tainting not only the green carpet, but my memories, my mind, my purity, my sanity.
My grandfather called 911 the morning of; EMTs came rushing in to save my grandmother. They picked up her limp body revealing yet another stain on the couch. She slumped in the bright red chair as the remaining blood slowly dripped and stained the faint corners of her wrinkled lips. As what looked like some weird sponge thing with sparks appeared, the tight grip I had on my grandmother's hand was released and forced down the hallway to my room along with my struggling body. With one last push against my lunging, I saw my grandmother's smile. Not the smile that used to welcome me home after school. Not the smile that would kiss me goodnight. And not the smile of us finishing another puzzle. But her last smile. The smile that wouldn't be there to welcome me home. That smile that would echo through my mind and cause me to cry myself to sleep. Another tear reflecting another kiss. The smile that I would now have to create as I finish another puzzle if I ever could again. All I heard then was one word. One screaming word that still scares me today. "Clear!"
My mom came shortly after the silence and picked me up to go see my grandmother. We drove for hours just to get to this hospital full of crying and screaming, death and birth. The hospital I now remember by the goosebumps that coated my arms to protect me from the cold. The hospital I now remember by the tears that raced down my mother's pale face an hour after arriving. I thought the nurse meant that Grandma was at a different hospital when she said she's not here with us anymore. A hospital where it was warm with life and hallways portrayed smiles and echoed laughter. Instead, we joined the crowd of criers. I didn't understand, but cried anyways.
Two years later, I realized what happened. My grandmother, my savior, my "second mom", my best friend had passed away. The woman who would put salt on my apples and ice in my milk as a joke, now a habit. The angel that replaced my fish as a secret that I noticed anyways. The mom that would kiss my "boo-boos" that now I do myself. The friend I would spend hours with to figure out the puzzle of a bookcase. I have the last piece since we promised to finish it together. All of that is gone.
I tried to cheer myself up by believing that she's in a better place now. I then end up believing the best place for her is here with me. I tried reciting "Every minute of sadness is sixty seconds of happiness you'll never get back." but it's followed by "Who cares?". I attempted to find the silver lining, but the silver lining is too thin for me to grasp onto in this macabre hole of darkness I place myself in by it's negative hold. I try to think how lucky I am to be the last one to hear her voice, see her smile, and hold her hand. I end up wishing I was still hearing her calming lectures, seeing her spark of happiness through wrinkles, and holding her faint grasp. That day left me knowing that not only is the glass half empty, but so am I.
Or so I thought. My mom walked in on me crying one night. She told me that she knew I wasn't sleeping and sit up. The light was on and blurry. Then a soft hand wiped my tears away and my head on her shoulder. She stroked my hair and told me how she also knew why I was crying and that she cries about Grandma too.
"I hate Him!" I yelled as the picture memory of Grandma laying on the couch, her eyes drifting up to meet mine.
"What did I do deserve this!? What did I do!?" I continued screaming muffled words of hatred into my mother's soaking shoulder as the memory of blood streaming out of Grandma's mouth became in sync with the tears out of my eyes.
"I can't belie..."
"To make you strong." My mom interrupted me.
My reddening eyes flung open at the thought of it. She was right. God didn't take Grandma out of spite, but to make me strong. Is that what He always does? Did He take my brother from my mom to strengthen her heart? Did He take my grandmother away from me to strengthen my mind? Drove my parent's apart to ready them for seperation, strengthen their soul?
That day left me knowing that even though accidents seem to tip the glass over, making it half-empty, you must pick it up and pour in a new life, a different way of thinking, a stronger you.