Just by the look on her face, you could tell. Tell that her wrinkled skin was starting to get dried out. Her once luscious soft brown hair all washed away by the thick layers of grey’s. Oh and that once contagious smile- hiding behind her misery. It was her 90th birthday and my 4th birthday! We share a birthday on November 26th and sometimes it even lands on Thanksgiving which I thought was pretty neat. A day to celebrate life; although it seemed like we were reflecting back on hers- like we were remembering her which was weird to a 4 year old because she was still alive. I swear every time I saw her that hidden smile would appear. When I was little I thought I was hot stuff. Dressing up was my favorite thing to do. So whenever my great grandma saw me she would always call me a star and say “How’s my favorite superstar doing?!” I gave her joy and that’s all I’m thankful for. We had all gathered into the living room while still trying to digest the stuffing, mash potatoes, and turkey we devoured. Us as a family wanted to give her something extraordinary “before she goes”. I still didn’t get what that meant but I played along with it because I didn’t want to keep asking questions and bother anyone. Anyways, her present was an actual star! It was a certificate saying that we had bought a star and named it after her. Secretly, trying to show how something “dead” can still be beautiful and bring light. I didn’t quite get what this was trying to show but everyone was happy and drops of water started to fall from everyone’s eyes and I didn’t want to ask anyone why they were sad so I was just eating my favorite chocolate cream pie my Aunt makes in awe of some of the presents I received as well. It was when I was admiring my new American girl doll when everyone started to say their goodbyes and giving warm hugs because it was getting pretty late. The next morning didn’t feel different to me. Going from 4 years old to 5 didn’t really make me feel different- or even older. I was always so happy and excited to grow up. I wanted everything to go faster, I was so wrong. But in reality growing up actually stinks. I wish time and life went by slower...
Later that night my parents got a call around 1:00 am. They didn’t say anything to us after they hung up. My parents both looked at each other moving their head very slowly. All they said was for me and my sisters to get in the car quickly. They had “that” look. That certain look on a persons face where you know something is up a very frantic and worried look and even though I was only 5, I knew it wasn’t good. We all hoped in the car in less than 2 minutes. My little sister half asleep laying on my shoulder and my older sister looking out the window-and in the reflection of the window I can see her tears fill her sleepy face. We drove in dead silence; all that you could hear was the humming of the wind and whistling of the night sky. We arrived at the Baystate Hospital in no less than 10 minutes. Inside, my dad had ordered some flowers and balloons. He then told us we could pick something out if we wanted to. As I looked around their was basic things- cards, chocolate, stuffed animals and so on. But my eye caught a glimpse of a glass star- I made my dad buy it for me! We made it upstairs to her room: number 202. My parents rushed in while I fell behind scared. I didn’t even know she had been battling leukemia in her lungs-but somehow I did at the same time. She was different. She had tubes going through her nose and arms and was pale white like death. She also couldn’t talk much, she only said words that would count and be important to let us know...that she was okay and that she loved us and knew everything would be better soon. My mom and Dad had to excuse themselves afterwards and talk to the nurses. I was the only one in the room at the time with her as she whispers to me “pst, superstar come here.”
“Who, me great grandma?” I asked shyly.
“Yes love, what’s that in your hand?” she wondered as I tried to tuck it behind my back
I was going to keep it for myself, but I thought at that moment that she should have it.
“It’s for you. Your my star now.” I stated as she began to look up and cry.
“ Don’t ever become anything less my sweet angel. Do you promise that?”
“I promise.” Knowing that would stick with me for the rest of my life. On this night, her spirit joined the sky.