February 19, 2016 was the day that changed my life forever. As I am in Mr. Maddox’s fifth period Algebra II class about to go up to the board to do a problem, Ms. Ashley calls me down to the office to check out for the day. From that moment and by the tone of her voice, I knew something was wrong. My dad would never check me out of school without a doctor’s appointment planned or if I was not feeling well, so I knew something was up. When I got to the office, the look on my dad’s face confirmed my thoughts. After we walked out of the office, I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. We get in his truck and he begins by telling me that he loves me, preparing me for the worst news I could ever imagine.
Two weeks before, the week of Mardi Gras, my family and I went to Disney World, “the happiest place on earth,” “where dreams come true,” whatever you would like to call it. We had a great time during our first couple of days, and on day three, we decided to spend the night in Epcot and eat dinner at the Hibachi restaurant in Japan. As we are eating, my aunt gets a phone call from my grandmother back home in Louisiana saying she had fallen and hit her head because she tried to pick up a piece of paper off of the ground. You have to understand that my grandmother is the most selfless, humble, kind person you would ever meet. She said prayers every day, three times a day, and watched the Morning Mass every single day. Her and Jesus were pretty tight. My grandmother is also clumsier than a three-legged elephant on ice skates. Anyways, she didn’t want the janitor, who gets paid to clean, to have to pick up the piece of paper off of the ground, tried to bend over to pick it up, and fell forward right onto her head. Later, we come to find out that fall had ruptured an aneurism in her stomach. A week in the happiest place on earth turned into a living nightmare.
My grandmother was my best friend, my role model, my mentor, and any other relationship you could think of. Losing her truly changed my life. Without her, I would not even know who God is. She is the foundation of my religious beliefs. Watching her say her prayers throughout the day, and going to Mass with her on Sundays showed me what it was really like to love and know God. Because of my grandmother, Joan, I am closer to God today than I ever was. She is the reason why I believe in Heaven because it gives me hope that I will see her again someday. Whenever I pray to God, I can see her sitting right next to Him as they watch over me and protect me through the good days and the bad. She gives me the strength and courage to get up every morning and do my best. Even though losing her was one of the hardest moments I have ever been through, it has helped me grow in my faith and appreciate what I still have in my life. They say you don’t realize what you have until it is missing, and I think that is something we should try to overcome by always being grateful for what God has given us and the people He puts in our lives. I regret not always showing my appreciation for my grandmother, and I only realized I took her for granted until after she was gone. She has taught me to always appreciate the people around me because they might not always be there the next day. The day before my dad checked me out of school to say goodbye to my grandmother, I didn’t call her back after I had missed her call because I was too busy with homework and decided I would call her the next day. Little did I know that wouldn’t be possible. I regret not calling her back as soon as I heard her voicemail, something that would’ve only taken a couple minutes, losing my chance to tell her I loved her one last time. She truly was a blessing and an angel sent from God. Every night, I tell her I love her because I know she is there watching over me. Even though I cannot see her in person, I can feel her there and will always remember her as if she were sitting right next to me with her prayer book in her hands. She will always be my best friend, my role model, my mentor and so much more. Because of Joan, I am the person I am today, and I couldn’t thank her enough. She is my true hero, and she definitely changed my life.