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A Waterfall of Salty Tears
My heart exploded. I felt dizzy. Distant words were coming through my mind, but they weren’t registering, phrases were floating through my head. All I could hear were the words, your grandma and heart attack. Little did know that she would fall into a coma and die. I felt like I was being spun in a swivel chair a million times. Hot tears stung my brown eyes; and they stained their way down my cheeks. My vision was blurred. A few minutes ago I was complaining about having to be in karate class, now news that my grandma was in critical condition from a heart attack was and still is the worse thing that I could’ve ever imagined. Why couldn’t I just be happy to be working out? I should’ve been going through basic motions or warming up. What did I do to deserve this? Why am I being punished and hurt? I’d rather live in karate and work out 24/7, or do math all day, every day than have this fate which was worse than death.
When my mom came in to pull my sister out of class, I flipped. However then, I saw that her ordinarily figure of 5 feet and 2 ½ inches was hunched over. She looked small and vulnerable. Her eyes were puffy and red, like…she was crying. That was my first hint that something was really wrong. Her hands were shaking a little bit. I ran out the door, to the car where I impatiently waited for my mom and little sister, Jordan. Finally, we got in the car. My mom was crying again, she looked back at us. Tears started streaming down my cheeks. I thought it was my grandma, but it could’ve been anything. It was so scary. I had no clue what happened. But, deep in my heart, I knew it was my grandma. My grandma was probably about 5 feet tall. She was stubborn and she was the boss. She was defensive, but so kind. She had smooth, silky, chocolaty skin, which was completely wrinkle free. She was always sporting rubber bands, the green kind, on her wrist. I loved her more than the sun loves to shine and even more than fish love to swim, almost nothing was more important. I had a special spot reserved in my heart for her. I loved her almost more than anything, in the whole entire world.
“We have to go pick your father up at the house and drive to the hospital. It’s grandma.”
“No, it can’t be!’’ I whimpered. My worse fears were coming true. Things that I could only dream in nightmares were happening. A dam of water started to burst its way through my rapidly blinking eyelids. My heart was hurting, it was hard to breathe. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t think. My world was swirling and twirling. My little sister clung on to me hard.
“Shhh…Shhh, it will be ok.”
“No, it can’t be.” No it wouldn’t, it would never be. My mom kept whispering soft, fluffy words into my ears. Comforting me as much as she could, but it still hurt. We arrived at my house. The door opened and I saw my dad’s tall figure. I rushed in and latched myself on to him.
“Go get changed.” He says in a calm voice. I looked in his big brown eyes and saw that sadness lived there.
“What happened to grandma?” I demand in a shaky voice.
“Go get changed.” He repeated in the same calm voice.
“What Happened!!?” I shriek. “Tell me.” I shriek louder, then softer. “Please…”
“Brianna.” I just stared blankly at him. His voice should’ve gotten louder. He should’ve been furious. Shocked, I got changed. My sister and I came back down our stairs. My eyes were so hazy that I tripped. Finally, we were on our miserable way to the hospital.
During the agonizing car ride, I fell asleep. The slumber was deep because of all of the crying I had done. When we arrived at Paradise Valley Hospital, I knew my grandma didn’t stand a chance. I shuddered. We walked in sync inside the hospital, up to the reception’s desk.
I walked in the “room” in which my grandmother was, and saw about ten weepy red-eyed people crying and praying. I saw my dad’s sister, my cousins, my grandma’s friend, and random people. My grandma’s friend, Rita, called my sister and me to her.
“Hey sister-sister.” She said in her groggy, deep voice. Sister-sister was our pet name from her.
“Hey.” Tears of salty waterfalls fell endlessly from my eyes. I didn’t have the strength to wipe them away, nor did I even want to. Just four hours ago I was on the phone with her and she was healthy and well. We were making plans about Thanksgiving. I started sobbing harder. I practically threw myself off the hard, uncomfortable chair onto the even harder linoleum. I pushed the cardboard boxes of itchy, scratchy tissue away from me. The harder I tried to stop crying, the harder I cried. My chest was hurting so bad and I couldn’t breathe. The way I was feeling right then was like being enclosed in a small, airless box with no light. The world was hazy, and I was blacking out. I was violently shaking and then random people were hugging me. THIS COULD NOT BE HAPPENING! The doctors came out.
“You can see her now.” We all advanced forward. I pushed back the hard, ugly, green and blue curtain. I wanted to collapse. I saw her laying there (yes, I know the correct term would be lying there, however that would only be the case if she was living, which in my opinion, she wasn’t really doing that, so onward) attach to tubes, monitors, IV’s, and other stuff that wasn’t really a natural sight that I would normally see. Right there on that ugly floor I wanted to vomit. I had to leave and get out. A grief counselor walked up to me and tried talking to me.
“How are you?” The grief man asked in a fake sympathetic voice. I looked him over. He looked pretty well off, nice, shiny, black leather shoes. Fancy haircut and he was wearing a pity grin.
“What? My grandma is in a coma.” That question was one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. That may sound a little cruel, but don’t you hate it when people ask you that and you’re in pain?
“I understand your pain. It will get better.” He didn’t get it, my grandma was never waking up; I was the only one who thought that. Being oxygen deprived for as long as she was, killed her brain cells, which by the way you can’t make more of, if those precious few died, then she dies. I look around and see people praying like crazy. Asking God to let her wake up, if I already know she’s gone, why bother praying. If God is putting her family through this pain, then he really must want her. I guess that if she died than she could collect her reward. A reward for being such a beautiful and wonderful person, He had to take her. Her life was done. She lived it. I knew that it didn’t matter how many nights wake up hoping it was a dream. Death is inevitable and mysterious. I am distraught and angry. We stayed in that evil death-trap until 2:00 in the morning. When I got home the moment my head hit the pillow, I was asleep. I was in a deep dreamless sleep.
In the morning, bright streams of light swam its way though my closed blinds. My dog got squirmy; I had pushed my grandma to the depths of my mind. I didn’t remember until I opened my bedroom door and saw my parents. My mom’s skin was grey and dull. I sat in the frame of my door, cradling myself. Silent tears ran down my cheeks. The thought that I had tried so hard to push to the back of my mind came back and laughed at me. It did not care that I didn’t want or needed to be reminded. I just wanted to sit in the frame of my door way and work on hardening myself. I wanted to be numb and emotionless. I wanted to be alone and listen to sad, sappy, pathetic songs about heartbreak. I didn’t want to get dressed, I wanted to sit in my doorway and be stubborn and sad.
“Brianna get dressed, please.” My mom said gently.
“I almost forgot, about grandma.” I said softly. A faint whisper of sound was what I let out. “I did, until I saw you.” My voice was hoarse. “Can we visit he?”
“I don’t think so, it could be a while…”
“Please” My grandma was moved to the Intensive Care Unit. When I was finally allowed to see her, I was overtook by the stench of, err, practically dead people. She now had more tubes and monitors than before, and some fool turned the T.V. on. How is she supposed to watch it?
“Grandma wake up! Grandma wake up! Please.” I cried in vain. Again, I started crying. People were still praying. “I love you grandma, I love you. Good-bye for now.” I stroked her cool hand and cried. On December 11, 2006, my grandmother died.
The shock hit me hard. My legs collapsed out from under me, I sank and just cried. My world was tumbling down and was promptly stabbed and smashed by sharp, pointy boulders. Life as I knew it was over. My grandma left me heartbroken, sad, crushed, and dead. Then, a ray of light dawned on me and I remembered the times I spent with her; she gave me hope to smell the roses outside. To live. To laugh. To love. That ray gave me hope that there will be another day. That maybe life wasn’t over. I learned that she may be gone, but she is still with me. She lived her life to the fullest, I’m just thankful that I got to spend the majority of my life with her. I am comforted by her watching me. Therefore, it was not the end of my book, but a new chapter. Until we meet again.
Looking back on the dilemma I went through, I learned to love your family with all of your might because one day they could be gone. I learned to not just grieve and wish for more time with my grandma, but to think of the happy memories she brought. I know now it’s not about the quantity of time you spend with a person, but quality. To this day it brings me great comfort just to know she loved me.