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St.Patty's Day Miracle
Author's note: This was piece was inspired by a class asignment as a short story. My teacher was trying to help us think of what to wriet about so she gave us ten news article titles without the article. Once we chose a title we had to write a story that we thought went with the news article. The title I chose was "A Boy Seeks to Find His Mother" and after adding a few characters and more detail this is the story I came up with.
The date is September 17, 2020. Hurricane Samuel is blowing through the Atlantic Ocean. We are currently in central Florida approximately five miles away from a beach. As we have the news on TV we were given a three day notice to evacuate north. I’m an older brother to my sister and live with both Mom and Dad. I’m ten and my sister is only four. We are going to stay with Grandma on Mom’s side in Michigan. We plan on leaving tomorrow morning to get out of here as soon as we possibly can. Once I’m finished packing I have to head over and help my sister which isn’t a big deal because I know I’m being helpful to both Mom and Dad. My sister can be quite mouthy at times though and pretty hard to deal with sometimes. Not so much today as Mom has already talk to her and told her that she needs to cooperate with everyone so we can get to Grandma’s safely. My sister’s belongings were simple to get together as her clothes are much smaller and can all fit into one suitcase. Her toys and such were all thrown into two different plastic containers then to the front yard. Mom packs everything sentimental to her such as family DVD’s pictures and baby books.
After we finish packing we give it to Dad to pack in the car. The rest of us stay in the house waiting for Dad to get everything organized to fit perfectly in the car. I begin to look at my empty room. Just my furniture stands alone. A tear falls down my face. Mom grabs me and tells me it’s ok. “It’s just a little hurricane Hunter. This isn’t permanent. We’ll come back in a year or so and all pitch in to get our home back to normal.” Mom says in her comforting voice. My little sister then interrupts. “Yeah Bub don’t cry it’s ok. We get to go see Grandma. Aren’t you just so super excited to go see Grandma Bub?” I reply, “Yes Lily, I’m excited to see Grandma. I’m going to miss my friends though and my school and my room. Let’s face it I’m going to miss Florida.” “Oh Bub you know we can’t stay here because the candy cane is coming.” I giggled to myself, “It’s hurricane Lily not candy cane.” Then Dad walked in. “Alright everything is ready to go for tomorrow. Hey it’s getting kind of late why don’t we go out and get something to eat so we don’t have to wait for something to cook.” Dad offered. Lily began jumping with joy, “Ok! Can we go to Applebee’s? Please, Please, Please!” I never understood how Lily ever could be in the mood for a certain restraunt. I mean she ate chicken fingers and fries where ever we went. Why did it matter where they came from? Although it didn’t matter to me I was fine with Applebee’s as well as Mom and Dad.
While we were on our way to Applebee’s we realized that it was storming and getting really windy. I asked in a shakey voice, “Mom, Dad what is going on? I thought the Hurricane was far away still.” My Dad reassured me, “Hunter don’t worry this is just the storms and winds a Hurricane can give off even from real far away. Hurricanes are really strong little dude.” I just nodded my head to let him know I understood and I was no longer worried. Finally we pulled into Applebee’s parking lot. Surprisingly for a Friday evening business was really slow. We were quite confused. We entered Applebee’s and sat down. We ordered our food and made small talk while waiting for it. Anytime I tried to bring up the weather or what was going to happen to our home Mom and Dad would tell me that they would take care of it and then quickly changed the subject. Lily went on and on about seeing Grandma and how Grandma gives us candy and presents whenever we see her. I’m thinking to myself how are they staying so calm when the wind out side is blowing like no other. I had a bad feeling in my stomach then I realized maybe it’s just because I’m hungry. Finally the sever brought our food. Everything at the table gets quiet as we begin eating. Then all of a sudden, “Bang” the thunder frighten all of us then the lights began to flicker. The current manager apologizes as they needed to check the weather channel. My mouth drops as I hear what they have to say, “Hurricane Samuel has picked up tremendous speed and is beginning to send strong storms our way. We must advise you to leave as soon as possible either late tonight or early tomorrow. Mom and Dad comforted me and said, “We will head to Grandma’s as soon as we leave here. Everything is packed in the car.” I began to scarf my food as quickly as possible simply so we can leave quicker.
We pay the bill leave a tip and then head out. Mom and Dad tried every expressway possible but the traffic was so horrendous that people’s cars were turned off to save gas. Mom and Dad told us that they would try early tomorrow that the traffic would lighten up and it’s only extremely busy because everyone in Florida is trying to get out of here and that’s just too many people on the road right now. I took a deep breath and thought I wouldn’t get any sleep tonight. Then I began to get very angry and I wanted to scream at somebody but I didn’t know who. I can’t be mad at Mom and Dad because they are just trying their best and they were completely prepared for what the news station had told them. Then it hit me. The news station that’s who I need to be mad at the news station. Why did they tell us we had five whole days to escape when we really only had two. How come they didn’t tell us the truth did they think if they would tell us too late that they would have a new story to talk about. Yeah, what a great story for the news to share. “Millions die trying to evacuate Hurricane Samuel.”
We finally return home and the storm roars all night long. Lily and I slept with Mom and Dad. It took me a while, but I finally was able to fall asleep. It didn’t even feel like ten minutes later that I was being yanked out of my bed by Dad. I was very scared the TV was on and water was up to Dad’s ankles. I could over hear the news still. “Hurricane Samuel is making an early arrival around 4:45 this morning! You can see the winds taking nearly everything! Stop signs and street lights and more! Please take cover! You want to get to an in closed room possibly on the highest floor of your home as floods are occurring quickly! I’m sure they’re getting rescue boats ready as we speak!” My stomach turned as Dad was carrying me up the steps he let Mom and Lily go ahead to make sure they got up ok. We went into the upstairs bathroom, because that was the only in closed room upstairs. We all sat in the bathtub. Dad claimed it would be the safest place possible to stay because it would be more difficult for the wind to pick that up. Then the storm came to a stop. We didn’t move because Dad said, “It’s only the eye of the Hurricane and there’s more to come.” Mom sang to me and Lily to try to calm us down. Mom has a beautiful voice and always sang to Lily and I when we were scared or uncomfortable she sang to us when we went to the dentist, when we had to get shots, and even when we got hurt running around outside. It was never the same song though it was always related to what was happening. I can tell you the words she was singing now were fitting the entire situation. “Faith is a muscle that some of us lack, although this family knows faith has their back. This storm is nothing to what we got because we all know God will give us one more shot.” Mom sang over and over. Lily was now looking at her smiling. Although for me it wasn’t working. I was clinging to Dad with every ounce of energy I had.
The storm picked up once again and now the wind was stronger than ever. I hear a shatter of glass. The water is rising quickly as it creeps under the door. The ceiling tiles were falling down while others were flying off he covered mine and Lily’s head and then went for Mom as well. It was too late thought a piece of roofing was dropped on her head and she was now unconscious. Dad grabbed her up real quick and held her to prevent any extra damage to her the winds roared for what felt like an hour but in reality they only lasted for another ten minutes. The house was now like Earth 70% water. Dad had put Mom on his back and he told me to put Lily on mine and to swim. He said to move as quickly as possible we were going through a window outside to climb on the roof and wave down a rescue boat. He said head to my room and that we would climb out that window. “Dad my window is broken. I think that’s the glass we heard shatter before.” I said. “Alright go to Lily’s room you go first.” He replied. I went towards Lily’s room with her on my back. The window was difficult for me to open so Dad finally reached around me and opened it he went out and climbed on the roof. He laid Mom down and then helped Lily and I on the roof next. He then went back inside to look for a first aid kit for Mom after she wouldn’t wake up. Lily leaned over and asked, “Bub what’s the matter with Mommy?” I replied with a calm voice, “When Daddy was covering our heads he couldn’t get to Mommy fast enough and something bumped her in the head. She’s ok though Lily there’s nothing to worry about. She’s just taking a nap because she had a headache from getting bumped in the head.” “Ok Bub.” We sat there for maybe about ten to fifteen minutes later before Dad came back. He said he couldn’t get a hold of the first aid kit. Then he said that were searching for a rescue boat. Lily looked at Dad and went over to give him a huge hug then turned to me and gave me one as well.
After nearly an hour and a half we finally pointed out a rescue boat. Dad ordered us to stand up and wave our hand above our head back and forth. He then stood up put his index finger and thumb to his mouth and whistled as loud as he could and began waving his hands back and forth as well. The rescue boat seen us and came towards us. When they finally reached us we climbed in the boat with him and he asked what happened to Mom. Dad then leaned over and whispered in his ear. The paramedic guy went on his walkie talkie, “yeah this is rescue boat 87. We need a chopper to meet us at Christ hospital.” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. What is getting chopped at the hospital. We then headed towards this roof with a helicopter sitting on the top of it. This building was also nearly covered with water. I had no idea we were going to ride in the helicopter. We weren’t allowed in the helicopter until they got Mom all settled they strapped her to a bed and then went to the helicopter once Dad, Lily and I boarded the helicopter we began rising in the air.
I wasn’t exactly sure where we were going but I knew we were going somewhere where the weather nice and there wasn’t any buildings under water. I looked down beneath us at all the homes and what I was pretty sure was my school and then I became sad. I seen all of the mess and wondered how they were going to clean this all up and how long that water was going to stay there. Then I seen the water getting more shallow as we were getting further away from home until there was no more flooding. We started to get lower and then finally landed on a hospital. They took Mom off the helicopter and headed into the building. “What’s her name?” the paramedics asked. “Anne Johnson” Dad told him. “Ok thank you. You’ll need to sign the paper work in the waiting room and we’ll come and get you once we know what is going on.”
The waiting room was extremely full. I knew it was because it was the closest hospital from the tragic of Samuel. Lily went to play at the little tables with the toys and coloring books. Dad told me to stay there and watch Lily while he goes to call Grandma. I seen him over at the front desk on the phone writing things down quickly. I wasn’t sure what him and Grandma were talking about, but I knew it couldn’t have been anything bad. Then he hung up the phone and dialed it again and was talking and writing more things down. I didn’t know what was going on. Lily then came to me with a worried look and asked, “Bub where’s Daddy?” “He’s over at the desk he’s calling Grandma to let her know everyone is alright.” I said. Then I seen Dad hang up the phone and dial it again. I wonder who he could be calling now. He hangs up the phone nods his head to the lady at the front desk I can read his lips as he tells her thank you. He starts walking back towards me. He leans over towards me and says, “Hunter, there’s a lot going on right now and I know that your head is spinning with stress right now since you’re only ten, I may be asking you for much right now, but I need to stay here with Mom tonight and you and Lily need some where to sleep tonight not in these uncomfortable waiting room chairs. I called Grandma and she said that I can call the airport and pay for tickets to Michigan with my card over the phone. A car is coming to pick you and Lily up around three. That’s in about five hours. They’re people who make sure children eighteen years old and younger get through security and to their plane and settled in. They know your name age and Grandma as well. They know we’ve lost everything so they’re bringing a car seat for Lily. The Lady in the car is named, Shelli. The name of the Lady getting off the plane is Jill. You don’t have to worry about anything Jill will walk both you and Lily to Grandma’s car and you both will have to hold their hand in the airports because the airport is a big place and they want to make sure you’re not lost. I’m going to see what’s going on with Mom and then she’s going to get transferred to the Hospital up by Grandmas. Do you think you can do that?” “Yes dad. I have a question though. How long is the plane ride going to be?” “It’s only about two to a three hour plane ride. Lily will fall asleep if that’s what you’re worried about.” “No that’s not it I just wanted to know how long I would be by myself.” “You’ll be ok little dude. How about we go down to the cafeteria and get something to eat.” “Ok I’ll get Lily.”
We walked down to the cafeteria to see what they were having. I still remember the sign that had the options for us. The main meal they were having that day was grilled cheese and tomato soup. The optional was a turkey burger or a fruit salad. Dad and I got the turkey burger and Lily got the grilled cheese and tomato soup. It was funny to watch her face when she took her first bite of the grilled cheese. She had a disgusted look on her face and then she said, “This doesn’t taste like Mommy’s grilled cheese at all.” Dad and I both laughed we knew that hospital food wasn’t really good from when Mom was at the hospital having Lily. I was her age and I made the same face at the hospitals chicken tenders and mashed potatoes.
Once we were finished we went back to the waiting room and as we were walking back in the waiting room the lady at the front desk was asking for Anne Johnson’s family and Dad looked and raised his hand a tad bit to let her know that we were her family. “Are you Mr. Johnson sir?” “Yes that’s me.” “Ok follow me back to her room and the doctor will be in to talk to you about what’s going on. The little ones can come with you as well.” “Ok thank you very much.”
We walked down a real long hallway turned walked down another real long hallway then turned again and went up the elevators and then walked just a little more and we were finally at her room. I was so excited to see Mom and tell her how everything went. I wanted to tell her how brave I was through the whole thing and how I helped Dad when he asked me to. The door was opening slowly I was ready to run in there and give her a gigantic hug and kiss. My heart sank to the floor when that door opened and she was still laying in her bed asleep. I thought to myself how could this be she should have woken up by now. Why hasn’t she woken up? They didn’t bring us back here to let us know that she is still in her lifeless sleep oh I hope not. The front desk lady left and now we had to wait for the doctor to come in and talk to Dad about what is going on. Lily came over to me and said, “Mommy’s headache must have been a good one she’s still taking her nap Bub.” I smiled at her and gave her a hug. Dad told me, “Everything is ok. Go talk to Lily about going to Grandma’s with you and see how she feels about it.” I walked towards Lily who was playing with a toy that she brought from the waiting room. “Hey Lily guess what you and me get to do? We’re going to go see Grandma. A car is going to come and pick us up from the hospital and take us to the airport and then we’re going to fly to Grandma’s doesn’t that sound fun?” “Bub we’re not going by ourselves were too little.” “Psh, no we’re not we’re big kids we can do that all on our own and show Mommy and Daddy that we can fly all the way to Grandma’s by ourselves. We’re going to have two lady’s that will be there to help us but shh we want Mommy and Daddy to think we did it all by ourselves.” “Bub, why is Mommy and Daddy staying here?” “Well because Mommy wants to take her nap in quiet and Daddy is staying here so Mommy doesn’t have to fly alone to Grandma’s when she wakes up.” “Oh ok Bub. Yay! We’re going to see Grandma!”
Finally the doctor came in. He asked Dad to step out of the room with him although they we’re talking quietly I could still hear them. The doctor told Dad, “She is in a coma right now but it’s not horribly bad she can still breath on her own and everything although we are going to send a feeding tube down her when you all leave so she doesn’t starve.” “Ok. Do you know how long she will be in this for?” “We imagine maybe a few weeks but no one can tell for sure yet.” “Is there any way we can get her transferred to St. Elizabeth in Owensburg, Michigan. We were in Hurricane Samuel and Anne’s Mom live up there and that’s where were staying until we can go back down to our home and hopefully fix up the place.” “Yes we can have her transferred up there. You just have to give us some time to fax all the paper work up there and schedule a helicopter to get her there and she should be out of here by tomorrow.” “Ok that’s great news. Thank you so much.” “You’re welcome sir. We’ll come in to warn you that were putting the feeding tube in so you and the little ones can get out of the room. It’s not a very pretty sight.” “Ok. That would be great.”
Dad came back in the room and turned on the TV. He automatically knew to turn on Nickelodeon. Lily then came up to me and asked, “How long is it going to take for the car to come get us and take us to the air port.” “About three more hours.” “Is that long Bub?” “It’s about six spongebob’s.” “Oh wow it is a really long time.” While we were watching TV we were about three episodes in when the doctor had told my dad what they were doing. My Dad told me and Lily that we should go take a walk around the hallway and then he gave us a five dollars each to go get a drink or something out of the vending machine across the hall. He said to stay in the room with the vending machine until he came and told me we could go back in Mom’s room. Lily was snacking on some cheez-it’s and drinking her apple juice while I was still trying to figure out what a coma is and what causes it. Dad came in probably half an hour later and said we could go back in Mom’s room.
When I walked into her room I seen something that I’ve never seen before why were there tubes shoved down her throat. I began to yell, “Dad tell them to take those things out of her! She can’t breathe with those things down her throat!” “Hunter, yes she can. Look she’s going to be sleeping for a little while and this is a kind of sleep where you don’t wake up when you’re hungry or thirsty so they have to feed her belly it doesn’t hurt when she wakes up.” “Are you sure?” “Yes Hunter I wouldn’t let them doctors to anything to hurt Mom.” “Ok” Lily was still sitting at the end of Mom’s bed watching Nickelodeon.
The car finally came to pick Lily and I up. The Lady from the front desk had came to tell us that the car was here. She walked Lily and I back down to the front door and out to the car where a lady had greeted both of us by shaking our hands. “Hello my name is Shelli you must be Hunter and this must be little miss Lily.” “Hey that was right! My name is Lily.” We got into the small white car. Shelli buckled Lily into the car seat and I buckled my own seat belt and she talked to us on our way to the airport and was extremely kind to both of us she held our hands. She even took us to a McDonalds in the airport before we got on the plane then she gave the guy at the gate our tickets and sat us in our seats. Now we were on our own until the plane landed. I waited until Lily fell asleep which didn’t take very long and then I laid my head back and slowly doze off in a deep sleep.
The next thing I knew Jill was waking me up and telling me to “Come on!” She wasn’t anything like Shelli was she was mean and rude. She didn’t even hold our hands like she was supposed to and she was walking really quickly and she was complaining on how she was stuck with a couple of brats today and that she wasn’t getting involved with this kind of work ever again. When we got to the doors of the airport there was Grandma. Jill said in an unpleasant voice, “Here you go I did my job.” Grandma wasn’t too fond of Jill either. Lily ran up to Grandma and gave her a huge hug and screamed, “Grandma!” “Let’s get you two home and into some of the clothes that you Mom keeps at my house for you guys and I’m sure you guys need a bath and shower I’m making your favorite thing to eat Hunter. I stopped at the store and got everything you guys might need tooth brushes, hair brushes, and school supplies as well now you don’t have to start school right away but were going to get you in role by these next two weeks ok Hunter.” “Alright Grandma.” Then we got in Grandma’s car and were off.
Grandma had only two guest rooms so me and Lily were going to have to share a room which I guess I’m ok with that. When we finally walked in the door Lily ran upstairs to use the restroom I have no idea why she held it for so long probably because Jill didn’t give us the chance to use the restroom or anything she didn’t even care where we went all she wanted was to get rid of us. I know if my Mom were to know she treated us like that then she would have been up there showing her a lesson. Grandma got on the phone and called the hospital that Mom and Dad were at to let him know that we got to her alright and that we are with her now so there’s nothing to worry about. I went upstairs to pick out an outfit and a towel so I could get in the shower and finally sit on the couch enjoy a meal and get some sleep. After I got out Grandma gave Lily a bath and then began cooking dinner. I didn’t touch my plate though knowing that I couldn’t eat knowing Mom was in the circumstances that she was. I was now sick to my stomach about where she was and seeing those tubes shoved down her throat was awful to see as well. I just wanted to go up stairs and go to sleep. Grandma started to frown knowing something was bothering me since I wasn’t touching my food so I finished my plate so she would feel better I hugged her and kissed her on the cheek and went upstairs into bed early. I didn’t fall asleep till late that night though because I laid there awake with the thoughts of Mom in the hospital racing through my mind. Then I finally was able to fall asleep again.
The next morning nobody woke me up. I went down stairs to Lily’s favorite breakfast biscuits and gravy. Grandma and Lily were at the table already eating. I felt just a little angry no one woke me up. Grandma could tell I was angry too. She told me that they thought it was best to let me sleep in today as late as I wanted as she knows I haven’t been getting a whole lot of sleep. I let her know that it was alright and then I went into the family room and turned on some Nickelodeon and began to watch it. Grandma asked me to come grab something to eat, but I didn’t have an appetite at all I was still sick to my stomach a little bit. Then once Grandma and Lily were finished eating they asked me if I wanted to go in the back yard and just get some fresh air I shook my bed back and forth to let them know I didn’t want to go. They went out without me which I was kind of relieved because I really left alone at the time. I began to think about Mom again and I felt that sick feeling in my stomach again and I didn’t know what to do it was horrible then tears began to slowly make their way down my face.
Then the phone rang. I got up off the couch and went to see who it was it was a hospital so I answered it. “Hello.” “Hunter?” My dad’s voice came through. “Yeah Dad it’s me.” “Hey dude how you holding up?” “I’m doing alright I just wish Mom was awake because I really need her to talk to me right now” “I know Hunter it’s alright she’ll be waking up in a few days or so. Hey is Grandma there with you?” “Yeah she’s out back with Lily though. Why what’s wrong now?” “Nothing is wrong can you tell her that your Mom and I are going to be at St. Elizabeth a block away from her house in about two hours they’re taking her up to the helicopter right now.” “Yeah Dad I’ll tell her” “Alright thanks. I’ll see you soon love you bye” “Love you too dad bye.” I hung up the phone and headed out to the back yard.
After opening the door to the back yard I seen Grandma and Lily laying on the ground just looking at the sky. I then yelled, “Hey Grandma, Dad called. He said he wanted me to tell you him and Mom are on their way to the hospital that’s a block down the street. They should be here in about two hours.” “Ok thank you Hunter.”
I walked back inside and laid on the couch and started to watch TV again. I just laid there as if I were miserable or unhappy but then again I was all of those things. I just couldn’t bare the feelings of everything that had just happen. Not only was it Mom in the hospital. It was my room, my bike, my clothes, my friends and my home. Then it hit me. Oh my goodness all of our home DVD’s. There is no possible way we lost all of them. I mean there’s so many memories that had been destroyed by that dumb Hurricane. Then I became angry again. At those stupid weather people who told us too late. They took everything from me. If they would have given us an earlier notice then none of this would be happening right now. I sat there angry until Dad walked in the door. “Geeze what is wrong with you boy?” He asked in a shocked voice. “Nothing I’m fine.” I said. Well Mom is over there right now her room is on the second floor you just go up the elevator and it’s the third door on your left.” “Ok” I ran up stairs and got dressed then headed to the hospital.
I went in the doors up to the elevator and down the hall to her room. I wasn’t going to leave her tonight I just felt comfortable being there with her. I knew my dad wanted a shower and a change of clothes and most likely some sleep as well. I just sat and watched TV in Mom’s room I talked to her sometimes even though I knew she couldn’t answer back and then I would leave when it was time to feed her and what not. Then Dad called her room later that evening and told me I should probably start heading home I told him no and that I wasn’t coming home tonight I didn’t want to. He began to argue with me and then we got into a huge argument then I just hung up on him. A few minutes after I hung up with him I looked over at Mom and she was shaking horribly but she was still sleeping I became very scared to what was happening. I ran out in the hall way and screamed, “Help, Help, Help! It’s my mom I’m not sure what’s going on.” The entire staff ran in her room and I wasn’t sure what was going on. One doctor screamed, “Clear!” Then another said, “I think it was a seizure she was having.” The doctor told me to call my dad for him so he can say what just happened. I dialed Grandma’s number and Grandma answered. I looked at the doctor and told him, “Here it’s my Grandma she’s who were staying with right now she’s only a block away.” He talked with my Grandma on the phone for a few minutes and said the same thing that they said when they were in the room.
I looked at Mom she was still lifeless as could be but now she was hooked up to a machine that was helping her breathe and a machine to keep her heart pumping as well. It beeped every time it pumped too. Which I didn’t mind I still loved my mom no matter what. Dad came into her room within five minutes. He looked as though he was out of breath. He took me in his arms and apologized for arguing. The doctor began talking quietly to Dad. He said, “Were not sure when she’ll wake up now if she does. We’ll say maximum time is about six months and then we’ll give you the choice on whether or not you would like to take off the life support.” Dad’s eyes filled up with tears and the doctor walked out of the room and Dad and I both kissed Mom on the cheek and went home that night.
Two weeks later we went to check out the school three blocks from Grandma’s. We also enrolled me there but I couldn’t start until they got my school work faxed over from my elementary school in Florida which could take a while since all the fax machines are probably broke down because of the flooding. Within the next week I was in school and after school I would home but I would stop and say hi to Mom everyday and tell her I love her and give her a kiss on the cheek. Then I would continue my walk home. When I was finished with homework I would take Lily up there to see Mom. She would always draw her a picture and then tape it to the wall her bed was leaned up against. She thought Mom would like to wake up to all of the pictures in her room and to let her know that we were thinking of her the entire time.
My birthday is coming up in about a week or so. October is my favorite month not only because that’s when my birthday is, but because it was when Halloween took place as well. Mom would always make sure that we looked perfect in our costumes. She also tried her best to get us around as many neighborhoods as possible in the short amount of two hours so we could have a lot of candy. I miss her so much and I just want her to wake up already. Why won’t she wake up? I know that they said it would was going to be much long before she woke up since she had that seizure. She hasn’t been making any progress though. A machine is still pumping her heart for her and I think if her heart isn’t beating on its own then is she really alive. I can’t even think about Mom being gone forever. It hasn’t even been a month yet since the Hurricane and I miss her like crazy.
I can see Lily’s mood changing slowly. She is now realizing that Mom is not ok like I said she was. She knows that there is something wrong she becomes sad a whole lot now. One day I came home from school and went up to our room to put my backpack away. When I walked into the room to Lily sitting on the floor with her knees pulled up to her face. The TV was off, and there was a blank piece of paper and her box of crayons lying next to her. I paused in the door way with shock. What has happened to my joyful little sister? She looked up at me to see who it was. Her face was very difficult to look at. He eyes were red and filled with tears and there were two rivers of tears streamed down her face. I couldn’t help but put my backpack up and join her on the floor. I’m not sure what it is that is bothering her but, I know it has something to do with Mom. I hold her tight in my arms and rest my chin on her head.
After about five minutes of silence she looks up at me. “Bub what is wrong with Mommy? Why hasn’t she woke up yet?” “Lily she’s fine she’s going to take longer to wake up then the doctors thought she was.” I knew that I was lying to her once again. I knew that there’s a good chance that Mom might never wake up, but I know that if I were to tell Lily that she might never wake up that she would stop drawing, talking, and visiting Mom all together. I’ve never seen Lily like this before. She has never stayed in a room by herself and cried. “Bub I need her to wake up I miss her. I don’t know what to draw for her anymore. There’s so many pictures and I don’t know how to draw many more things.” “Lily you know how to draw a lot of things you know Mommy will love you drawings no matter what even if you don’t think they’re good she will. Go ahead and draw her something and then once your finished I’ll take you up to the hospital to talk to her ok?” “Ok thank you Bub.” “Anytime.” I stood up and went to go down stairs to get myself something to drink. Then Lily interrupted, “Hey Bub.” “Yeah?” “I love you.” “I love you to Lily.”
My birthday is today and Mom is still in the exact same position since she came from the other hospital. Today is exactly a month since Hurricane Samuel has happened. Mom has been in this lifeless sleep for a month. Thank goodness my birthday fell on a Saturday this year because while Grandma was cooking my favorite dinner and my birthday cake Lily, Dad and I went to go visit Mom. I told her it was my birthday today and I told how Aunt Cheryl and the boys were coming to Grandma’s to celebrate with me. I also told her that I’m going to help Dad rake the leaves of the front and back yard and how I think it’s awesome how many leaves fell off. I told her that she was lucky as a kid to be able to play in leaves all the time. Then we started to head to Grandma’s for my birthday dinner and cake.
Aunt Cheryl brought me a present. It was one of those basketball games you would see in an arcade but you didn’t have to put money in it to play. After that we sat down for dinner and made some small talk. I was getting mad when no one brought up anything about what happened to Mom. I mean they’re acting as if she doesn’t exist. Then I thought maybe they thought when I think about it I get sad and they didn’t want to ruin my mood on my birthday. After dinner Grandma brought out my cake. All eleven candles were there and Dad stood up and lit them for me. After everyone was finished singing happy birthday I closed my eyes tight and said I wish Mom would wake up. Then every candle went dark. After everyone was finished eating there cake I went to ask Aunt Cheryl if she wanted to go see Mom. She answered, “Of course did you think I was going to leave without seeing my little sister even if she isn’t feeling well?”
Aunt Cheryl and I walked down to the hospital and up to Mom’s room. I told her what each machine did. Aunt Cheryl’s eyes watered and she grabbed Mom’s hand. She began talking to her just as if she was awake. I got a warm feeling inside my stomach when she did because I’ve never heard Dad or Lily talk to her. I felt as if I was the only one who did talk to her. Then again I’m not hear when Grandma comes and sees her real early in the morning. She gave her a kiss on the cheek and then asked if we could start heading home. I was ok with that I understand it was getting late and Aunt Cheryl was getting upset. Once we got to Grandma’s Aunt Cheryl and the boys left.
Halloween was different this year. Mom is still the same as always and Grandma helped us with our costumes this year. This year though we weren’t going trick or treating with Mom we’re going with Dad. Down in Florida Dad would usually stay home and pass out candy, but this year Grandma was going to stay home and pass out candy. Lily was a butterfly and I was a Zombie. We even got candy from the lady at the front desk when we went to visit Mom because Lily wanted to show her costume to Mom. Although she wasn’t awake I told Lily to talk to her. I told her to describe her costume to her she can hear you. That’s exactly what Lily did. Then she said, “It will be easier when you wake up and see the picture of me and Bub in our costumes.” Then we headed to go trick-or-treating.
Once we were finished Dad checked all of our candy like Mom and him do every year. He’s looking for any open or broken candy. Then I go tell Mom good night and I love her. I’m beginning to feel like my Mom is gone forever. I start to have huge doubt that she is going to wake up. Even though I can talk to her as if she is awake I can’t hear her response or her advice to me. Right now I would love for her to be able to wrap her arms around me and tell me everything is ok. Even though I know that it’s a lie, because I now realize that everything is never ok. There is always something wrong somewhere in the world. Then I wonder why my mom would fill my head with those lies. Why wouldn’t she just tell me how cruel life can really be sometimes. I feel like she has set me up for disappointment. Nothing is ok to me right now.
Lily is really changing she is becoming ran down and somewhat of a bum. She doesn’t want to play with her toys and all she does is lay down where ever she is. She remains cuddled in a blanket with a dull look on her face. I came home from school the other day and she was just laying on the couch with her blank face starring at nothing. The TV wasn’t on or anything. I’m not sure why Dad or Grandma hasn’t said or done anything about Lily’s odd behavior yet. I go out to the kitchen where Dad and Grandma are. “How come you guys haven’t noticed Lily’s mood change? Why aren’t you doing anything about it?” I exclaimed. “It’s not to us to try to fix it Hunter. We try to talk to her. I even offered to play a game with her or to watch some TV. She doesn’t want to do anything. I think she’s probably feeling under the weather.” “That isn’t what’s wrong with her she’s sad about Mom. Can’t we get her some kind of help? I don’t like seeing Lily like that it’s sad.” My eyes flood with tears and then the fall down my face I ran up to my room and cried to myself. I now start to feel angry with everything and everyone.
Today is Thanksgiving and I don’t even bother to get dressed up for dinner but then Grandma makes me. I go to the hospital where Mom remains the same. She hasn’t showed any progress in these long two months. I start to fade away from going to see her as I get angry every time I do. I’m angry with Dad as I feel he doesn’t care about anything anymore. His appearance or his hygiene is nearly forgotten about. I’m angry with Grandma as she makes the conversation short when I bring up Mom. Lily is starting to get annoying as she mopes around and refuses to talk with anyone or do anything. Then finally she speaks up to me. “Bub I wish Mommy was here to sing to me. I’ve been feeling really sad and I can’t figure out why. I’ve never been sad for this long before. My toys just don’t look fun anymore. When I try to watch TV I can’t because my mind is always somewhere else.” Lily started to cry as so did I. I wish I could wake Mom up Lily I really do. I miss her just as much as you do.” I gave her a hug and kissed the top of her head. We went to the hospital to see Mom. It’s the first time in two weeks that Lily and I have went to see her. She hasn’t moved and I now see reality. Mom isn’t here with us anymore. The only thing that lays in front of me is her body. She isn’t doing anything on her own. The needle in her arm, the tubes down her throat and the beeping machines are keeping her alive.
Lily and I leave the hospital when the doctors come in Mom’s room to feed her. Lily is in a dress with fall like colors for the Thanks Giving dinner. We are late for the dinner, but I know they haven’t started eating yet as we’re only ten minutes late. Lily and I walk in the house and go to the dining room. Grandma has an angry look on her face but I’m not concerned. Everyone is seated down to eat with empty plates in front of them as they were waiting for Lily and I to get home. Grandma says, “Sit down quickly so we can all make our plate. I need to talk with you after were finished eating.” I can tell Grandma is angry with me but I could care less. Everyone fills their plate and then we join hands and bow our heads. Grandma says grace and then goes around the table to let everyone say what they’re thankful for. As it goes from person to person I can tell that not one person mentions Mom. Then it finally my turn to say what I’m thankful for and I say in a louder voice, “I’m thankful for Mom, Dad, Lilly and I for surviving Hurricane Samuel. I’m also thankful that Mom was given a second chance and I know she will make it through this and she will wake up.” Then Lily went last and she said “I’m thankful for that Mommy is going to wake up knowing that I was a big girl and still was on my best behavior while she’s taking this long nap.” Then we begin to eat.
After everyone was finished Grandma told me to meet her in the kitchen for a minute. She began yelling at me, “Hunter that wasn’t ok to make the entire family wait for you to come home late. You knew what time you were supposed to be home and you still decided to walk in the door whenever you feel like.” “Well geeze Grandma sorry I wanted to give Mom company on this holiday and I had to fill her in on a lot since I haven’t seen her in two weeks you would think that you wouldn’t mind since that is your daughter in there but you don’t care that’s why you or nobody else even mentioned her at dinner not even in grace what is wrong with you?” I ran up to my room and cried hard. After about twenty minutes I heard a light knock on the door. “If it’s Grandma or Dad go away!” I screamed. Then in her soft voice Lily said, “What if it’s Lily?” I didn’t want her to know that I was crying. I stayed so strong for her this long and I didn’t want to break down now. I told her she could come in and just to shut the door behind her. She came up to me and gave me a hug then she started to cry. That had been the absolutely worst Thanks Giving I’ve ever had.
Today is December 17th and it’s also the first snowfall of the year. We’re expected to get at least six inches on the ground. I also had my first snow day in my life. I didn’t know that kids up her could actually stay home from school because of snow. Grandma came home with what she called snow suits and a bunch of other clothes that were long sleeves and pants. I’ve never seen snow before and I’m enjoying every minute of it Lily and I are at the window every ten minutes watching the snow pile up even more on the ground. Grandma gets the DVD recorder out to record our reactions of the first snowfall. I was so excited but then I had an empty feeling inside as well and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Then Lily whispered to me, “Hey Bub do you think we can go see Mommy and tell her how it’s snowing outside.” I told her we had to dress very warm and then I would walk over there with her. When we got to the hospital the lady at the front desk had greeted us and asked us how we were enjoying the snow and we had told her that it was the first time we’ve actually ever seen snow before. She didn’t seem shocked as she seen us almost every day and knew where we were from because she knew well what happened to Mom. We went up to Mom’s room and Lily ran up to her and began spitting out words like it was her job. She was going on about the snow and how I had a snow day today and can play in the snow with her all day. Then she said, “Maybe if you wake up today you can come and play in the snow with us too Mommy.” Then we both told her we loved her and good bye.
When we got home Dad had been sent home early from work because we were on a snow emergency and he had put on some warm clothes and joined us in throwing snowballs and what not. Then he helped us build a snowman almost six feet tall. While we were playing in the snow Grandma had been standing on the porch recording the entire thing. Then once we came inside she was pulling out Christmas decorations. I looked at her and asked, “Hey Grandma do you think the hospital will let us decorate Mom’s room a little bit? I mean that way if she wakes up she knows what time of year it is and everything.” Grandma looked at me and smiled, “That’s a great idea hunter I have a small tree and everything that we can set up for her on the table next to her.” She packed her big container and took Lily and I to the hospital and we went up to Mom’s room and began stringing lights and putting things all over the room and once we set up her little Christmas tree I realized that she should have presents under it on Christmas. Dad, Lily and I went to a jewelry store where we picked her out a necklace that said number one Mom with Lily and I’s birth stone in it and then. We also made her Christmas cards as well Lily drew a picture and I just simply wrote her a note letting her know I haven’t forgotten her and that I love her and miss her.
Today is Christmas Eve and Grandma plans on making chocolate chip cookies because Lily told her that we would always make some with Mom every year. Lily knows that the cookies are for Santa. I know that Santa isn’t real as kids at school had told me. Then Lily came to the conclusion if we put cookies in Mom’s room at the hospital that Santa will come visit her and bring her gifts too. I wasn’t sure what to think because Dad usually ate the cookies to make it look like Santa did but I wasn’t sure if he would go to the hospital and do the same thing. After we got finished making the cookies we walked a few up to Mom’s room. When I got there I realized that Mom’s jewelry was gone and I became very angry. Who would steal a patient’s presents that they got from their children. Once Lily put the cookies on the table I told her it was time to leave. I couldn’t stand to be in a hospital with a staff full of thieves. I walked down to the lobby and the lady at the front desk wished us a Merry Christmas and I told her what had happened to Mom’s presents that we got her. She smiled at me and pulled them from behind her desk. I was confused for a second did she think she was going to get away with steeling Mom’s jewelry? Then she started to say, “I see you go up there with it and I know that it would disappear quickly unfortunately since we can’t trust anyone these day’s but I promise that they will be up there Christmas morning in case she wakes up. There will hardly be any staff here on Christmas as they all request off on Christmas at least the ones you can’t trust and I’ll keep the presents away until she wakes up to let her know that you guys did get her something. I’m sorry if it worried you when they weren’t there.
I try my best to go to sleep but it’s nearly impossible just like every other kid in America the night before Christmas. Another difficulty to get through is Lily she’s over there talking like no other. She’s talking about if we actually saw Santa. Then she talks about what if she gets everything that she asked for. She goes on and on and on then all of a sudden she just falls right to sleep as if she ran out of batteries or something. It became easier to fall asleep after Lily was asleep but I was still laying awake wondering what we’re going to do tomorrow. Then I started to think what if Mom were to actually wake up tomorrow. How awesome would that be if we got a call that she has woke up and then we could go and pick her up and bring her home with us. That would be the best Christmas gift that I could have. As I thought more and more about it I grew tired. It wasn’t long before I was completely asleep.
I was woke up by Lily shaking me uncontrollably. She was jumping up and down screaming, “Come on Bub I want to open presents I want to see what I got!” Then I finally knew why she was waking me up because Mom and Dad only let us open our presents together at the same time. We were never allowed to start opening our present until everyone was awake and present. Then I thought what about Mom? How come we aren’t allowed to open our presents or start Christmas until everyone was awake but we can celebrate Christmas even when Mom isn’t awake. I knew she wouldn’t want me to have an unhappy Christmas because she’s in the hospital. I need to put on my best smile for this home DVD that we’re going to make today that way when Mom wakes up and watches them she won’t have to feel bad or think that it was her fault that we didn’t have a good Christmas.
I followed Lily down stairs where all our gifts were lying under the tree and Grandma was cooking Mom’s traditional homemade biscuits and gravy. Although I don’t think she can make the gravy as good as Mom does. We opened our presents. Lily got her first tricycle, she also got a baby alive, and a sit and spin. I got the playstation four and plenty of games to go with it. I really liked what I got for Christmas. I love how I can now have something to do in the house besides watch TV since I can’t go out and hang out with the new friends I’ve made at school it’s way too cold out and I kind of got bored with the basketball thing that Aunt Cheryl got me for my birthday. After we were finished opening our presents I went into the kitchen and made myself a plate of biscuits and gravy. I was right Grandma’s gravy was good but it wasn’t as good as Mom’s then after that Dad had hooked up my playstation four and then we went to visit Mom. I wished her a Merry Christmas and told her I love her. I told her how I got a playstation four and also how it will give me something to do during these cold days that I can go outside.
Later on Grandma has the entire family over for her homemade chili and spaghetti. We also play game and win prizes. It was only Mom’s side of the family though since Dad’s side is over in California. This is actually the first year that I’ve celebrated Christmas at Grandma’s. She and the rest of the family usually fly down to our place in Florida where it’s warmer. This is ok too it’s just I wish Mom was here to sing all the Christmas songs. She loves Christmas music. She listens to it from the day it starts to the day that it ends on the radio. I miss her so much right now. It hurts so much but it’s not the kind of hurt like when you scrape your knee from falling off your bike. It’s a feeling that makes you want to fold over and cry. A band aid is no good for this kind pain the only thing willing to treat this pain is a hug, kiss and some lyrics made up from Mom’s own creative mind.
It’s new years eve today and I’m kind of excited. New years is always a fun day it’s full of loud music and fireworks and also later on tonight we’ll turn on the TV and watch the New York new year’s celebration where we can count down the ball, but Lily and I never actually get to see the ball drop because it’s always too late. I walk down by myself today to go see Mom. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been able to come up here by myself. I talked to her for a good while. “Mom I miss you a whole bunch and I don’t want to lose you. I need you to wake up Mom. I’m trying and trying to be strong for Lily, but it’s getting harder and harder every single day. When I see that you are still lying here making no progress my faith begins to shake. I know you would probably be angry with me when I say this but, I’m starting to get angry with God. I pray to him every night that you wake up or at least show some kind of progress. How come he hasn’t answered me I just want a miracle to happen but he won’t answer my prayers. I’m so angry with him right now I can’t even explain it.” Tears rolled down my face. I wanted her to talk to me. I needed her to tell me what I should do and whether I’m thinking the wrong way or not. I laid next to her and put my arm over her. I wanted to stay there all day with her but I knew I had to return home.
When I walked through the door Dad gave me a smile and asked me if I was ready for 2021? I nodded my head and went up to my room. I stared at the ceiling and just ran through everything that was on my mind. I tried to come up with solutions for every problem that came into my head and I did a pretty good job with most of them. If I couldn’t find a solution then I just came to the conclusion that things come across with no solutions and those are things we have to just deal with. Before I knew it the sky was dark and Lily was sent to bed. I was shocked of how long I was lying there with nothing to do but think. I quickly got up and went to ask Dad what time it is and he said it was going on ten and that we both need to go to bed so we don’t mess up our schedule. I really wanted to spend the rest of new years with Mom. So I thought that is exactly what I’m going to do. I had to wait until Lily fell asleep of course because I wasn’t going to get myself caught that easy. I was going to sneak down stairs and out the door while Dad would get up to go to the bathroom. Grandma went to bed early every night as well because she didn’t want to mess with her schedule either.
Once Lily fell asleep I quietly walked out of my room and sat at the top of the stairs. I waited for what felt like forever for Dad to get up and walk into the bathroom and I had to move quickly but quietly. My heart was racing and then when I finally closed the front door behind me. A huge relief came to me because all I had to do now is go to the hospital. I knew that I might have been asked to leave if I was caught being there by myself. So I made sure that the lady was turned around looking at her computer when I came through the door and I went as quickly as possible up to Mom’s room and then I laid down next to her and put my arm around like I did earlier. I turned on the TV and flipped through the channels until I found the New York’s New Year’s celebration. There was only about fifteen minutes left until the ball dropped completely. I sat there and watched all the celebrities singing and dancing around the stage and I thought what it would be like if we could go up there for New Year’s like Mom always wanted to. It was beyond crowded of course but I would be completely ok with that as long as we could be in the area. Then I began to picture it in my head all the celebrities, flashing lights and loud music. I would love it and when the clock hit midnight hundreds of pounds of confetti would pour on us. I was day dreaming the perfect New Year’s when they TV had interrupted me counting down from ten. “Ten, nine eight!” How awesome would it be if Mom were to wake up right now to celebrate the ball dropping with me? “Seven, six, five, four!” I hope 2021 is a whole lot better than 2020. “Three, two, one! Happy New Year’s!” I looked over at Mom kissed her on the cheek and wished her a happy New Year’s. Then I turned off the TV and then I realized I couldn’t handle it anymore. My eye lids felt like a million pounds and I finally fell asleep.
I woke up to Dad shaking my arm lightly. I was afraid that I was going to get in trouble for sneaking over here without telling anyone. He didn’t act angry though. He was real calm and said, “Hunter I know you miss Mom and that you may have just wanted to stay with her over night, but you scared me and Grandma really bad. Why didn’t you tell us you just wanted to stay here last night? You know that you didn’t have school or anything today.” “I’m sorry Dad I just didn’t think you would let me.” “It’s alright just please don’t do it again let’s go home and you can go back to sleep if you want.” I looked at him and smiled. I’m glad that I didn’t get in trouble because all I wanted to do was be with Mom for a night since I haven’t been able to be with her for a really long time
After a couple weeks of going back to school I wrote the date on my class work. January 17th hit me like a train and I wanted to throw up. Today has been five months. These five months have creeped on me pretty fast. Mom only has one more month to wake up before the Doctors say there’s no way she is going to recover. She still isn’t even breathing on her own. That day I went in my room and took a nap. I didn’t care about doing homework. Nor did I want to eat. I wanted to crawl under my bed and hide forever. How didn’t I notice that Mom’s time was running out? That day I slept all day and woke up and stayed up all night.
After that day I had to take in the fact that Mom may never wake up. I also had to imagine life without her. She wouldn’t be able to see Lily’s first day of school this upcoming school year. She wouldn’t be able to comfort me through my tough times. Mom won’t see me go on to middle school next year. She also won’t see me at my bridging over ceremony this year. She won’t see Lily’s and I first reaction to snow on those DVD’s Grandma recorded for her. I couldn’t think about all of those things no longer.
Valentines Day is here and I’m taking down all of the Christmas decorations in Mom’s room. I was going to put up Valentine’s Day decorations but then I thought what’s the point in two day’s it will be six months and I’ve lost all faith into thinking Mom will ever get out. The weird thing though is Dad or Grandma hasn’t said anything about what were going to do in two days. I wasn’t sure if they were thinking about how to tell me or if they were just waiting until the day came.
February 17th came pretty quick I didn’t even bother to go school. I played as if I were sick. I knew I would be able to pull it off since I haven’t missed any school the entire time I’ve been going to my new school up here. Finally Dad came home and said he needed to talk to me. He sent Lily up stairs to draw Mom a picture that we were going to go see her later on today. I sat there and listened to the most heart wrenching words as my Dad told me what today was and what we were going to do. I told him that I’ve been thinking about it and I think it’s best to let Mom go. I know it was hard for him to hear as he choked up when I said it. Then he asked if Lily knew what was happening today. I told him that she is clueless. He cried hard after that. In my entire ten years of my life I’ve never seen Dad cry. I didn’t judge him for it though I cried as well. He asked if I could explain it all to Lily as I can put it in an easier tone and a more understanding language for her. I walked up to our room and walked in. Lily quickly held up her picture and said, “Look Bub, won’t Mommy love it.” I cried and began to tell her, “Look Lily Mommy had a timer when she was in the hospital to wake up. Her timer went off today and she still isn’t awake. The doctors gave her six months which is a really long time. Now those machines she’s hooked up to are keeping her alive and we have to decide if we want to turn off the machines and let her go to heaven or we could give her some more time and see what happens. Lily she won’t be able to hug you anymore though she won’t be our Mommy that we know.” She replied crying, “You told me Mommy was going to be ok! You said she was going to wake up and that she was fine! She’s not fine! I hate you! Hunter you’re the worst Bruder ever! I want to give her more time. At least until the next holiday when is that?” “It’s St. Patrick’s Day and it’s in a little less than a month. I’ll tell daddy to wait until St. Patrick’s Day and then we have to let Mommy go to heaven ok?” “Ok Bub, I’m sorry for yelling. I love you.” “I love you too Lily and it’s alright.” I went down stairs and told him what Lily said. He agreed and that’s exactly what we did.
When St. Patrick’s day came around we went to the hospital where Mom still laid lifeless. We took Lily as well. All of our eyes filled with tears and we told our goodbyes. Dad had his hand on her head and kissed her on her forehead. Lily and I were on both sides of her holding her hand. They took her needles out and the tubes. Then the doctor said once we disconnect this her machine will make a large beep and she will be on her way to heaven ok?” We all nodded. He disconnected the wire and the machine that counted her heart beats made a huge beeeeeeeep. Then before we knew it the machine began counting her beats again her eyes opened and she asked what was going on. Lily jumped next to her and looked at me with a huge smile and said, “See Bub, I told you St. Patrick’s day was the day.” I smiled back and we all hugged and kissed Mom. Now it was to start our journey on the road of recovery and back home to Florida. I tell you this family was blessed with lots of luck on this St. Patrick’s day.