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Why is my dad so silent? Why does he look so upset? Is it about mom? Is she ok? WHEN IS HE GOING TO TELL ME ALREADY?
Those are all the questions I asked myself before I heard the news.
It was a gorgeous Autumn day. I had a soccer tournament the entire day and I was truly exhausted. After the final game, my dad, sister, friend, and I drove home. I was so thrilled, because later that night, I was staying at my friend Danna’s house for her birthday party!
But the last thing I expected was what I was about to hear.
When we arrived home my dad asked my sister and I to take a seat on the couch.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” we asked. “You seem unusually quite.”
“Girls, there’s something I have to tell you.” Before he could even attempt to explain, I could sense it was not going to be pleasant news.
“This morning your Aunt Jeanne died.”
“Oh,” was all I could spill out before tears started streaming down my face like a waterfall. My dad embraced us and I could smell his cologne. I felt safe, knowing he was there with me.
Slowly, I walked toward my mom’s bedroom door. I felt it close in on me and time…remained…still for a few seconds. “Pick up the phone, you’re just afraid of the truth!” I said to myself.. …..’215…beep beep beep… my legs felt like jelly, or maybe that’s just what they were.
When I called up my mom I felt kind of bad because I knew she was out with her girlfriends. She calmed me down and told me that it was ok and that it was my aunt’s time to go due to the fact that she had breast cancer.
“She’s in a better place now, Madelyn.” I could hear her voice crack and tremble for a split second.But suddenly I got all mad and I could feel my face steaming.
“Well why didn’t dad tell me this morning when it happened?! Why did h-…”
”Madelyn, if dad told you this morning before your game it would’ve affected how you played,” she interrupted.
“I guess you’re right mom. I have to get ready for Danna’s party,” I said sighing.
“Ok honey, have fun and don’t worry about today,” she said in reply.
“Ok bye mom, love you.”
Slam, I hung up the phone and packed up my belongings. But, at this point I really wasn’t in the partying mood. I mean, what’s the point if you’re this sad and miserable? But, I reconsidered what my mom said, ‘Have fun and don’t worry about today.’ Believe it or not, I went.
On the drive over to Danna’s I could smell the awkwardness fumigating the air. Someone might as well have sprayed a fragrance into the air called Awkwardness. Carolyn is my best friend, and I tell her practically everything. But right then I shouldn’t. I couldn’t. So, I basically kept my mouth shut the whole ride which is a first for me. The next thing I knew I was being greeted at the door by Mrs. Bernanke.
“Hello! Come on in, the girls’ are downstairs,” she said.
I did as she suggested and nonchalantly walking down the steps, I could hear:
Smiling to myself I thought, “Wow that was a grand welcome party.”
Eventually I told everyone the unfortunate news, and they were all very sympathetic. It made me feel ten times better when my friends told me that they could relate, since people dear to them have passed on as well. And so my mom was correct; there would be a positive outcome in the end. Maybe not everything is as dreadful as it seems. And it turned out my mom was right; I ended up having a great time.
To this day I still reflect upon that experience. I wasn’t necessarily close to my aunt because she had been struggling with this disease half her life, practically. I doubt she ever thought much or talked a good deal about me when things got harder and more complicated, but I figured you don’t really know something or someone’s true value or purpose until they are gone. But, right now I think she is looking down on my family and protecting us and providing us with love. I mean, that’s what family’s for right?