The Life I Wish I Didn't | Teen Ink

The Life I Wish I Didn't

June 6, 2013
By Mikayla Jernigan BRONZE, Madison, New Jersey
Mikayla Jernigan BRONZE, Madison, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Flipping through the air from bar to bar. Twisting and trying to keep my legs straight and my toes pointed. Feeling the pain of my hands getting ripped. I hear the sirens and I hear the scurrying of feet in the background. All I hear is a heartbeat, beating really slowly, slower than normal. I also hear the words my mom said before the accident, “I love you and I’m proud to be your mom” over and over inside my head. An ambulance man came over and asked me questions. My heart was beating harder and longer then ever. “Does your mom drink, does she do drugs, does she smoke, and has this happened before.” I answer no to all those questions.

My coach took me home to tell my dad what happened. During the car ride I was crying and thinking of all the good and vicious memories my mom and I had. Like the times when my mom and I were singing a song together called “I Hope You Dance,” and we would sing at the top of our lungs. Another time was when my mom and I were watching a really sad movie. My mom and I were crying as I was curled up with her. There was also a time when we built forts in the living room with chairs, blankets, and pillows. We would tell ghost stories, sing, and eat popcorn together in the fort. There were also bad memories when my mom and I would fight. We fought over the stupidest things and I would start crying because I didn’t think my mom loved me anymore. I was thinking of all those memories until we were back at my house.
I jumped out of the car and ran out to the horse arena where my dad was breaking in the new horses. I ran to him and gave him a huge hug. My dad was wearing blue jeans, a white polo, and cowboy boots. He asked what was wrong. I said mom had a heart attack and is on her way to the hospital. He dropped everything and ran to the truck and drove to the hospital.

When we got there my dad asked for my mom’s room. They said she wasn’t here but there was a waiting room out in front of her room, Room 217. We ran long and hard to her room. I saw my dad crying. I had never seen my dad cry before. It hurt me to see him like that. It was like a needle going through my heart. When we got to the waiting room, my whole gymnastics team was there and so were a couple of my mom’s friends. The room was tiny, had three paintings, and a huge mirror. My team ran to me and started crying with me. My team and I were a family. They all comforted me for a while, till the elevator opened and I saw my mom on a big long stretcher. She looked different. I had never seen my mom like this. My mom was tough and nothing hurt her. It killed me to see her on the stretcher. The pain made me fall hard on the floor with tears dripping down my face. My team rushed over and started hugging and crying with me. Later, the doctors hadn’t come out for a while and it was getting late. Some had to go but I understood. They hugged me and said I’m sorry and walked away.
When everyone left I got bored. The doctor hadn’t come out of her room yet. It felt like the room was getting smaller and smaller by the minute. In the room was a window that showed the outside world. I saw a little girl and her mom playing in their yard with a ball. The little girl was laughing and the mom was smiling. It started to remind me of all the memories my mom and I had playing ball in the front yard. I was laughing and my mom was smiling. Just then I started shaking with fear, thinking she will never come out of that room into the world again. While shaking and thinking hard I thought something that I didn’t think of before. It had been a while since she came in and I was starting to worry a lot more then I had been. What if this was supposed to happen? What if this happening meant something or that something big was going to happen? Maybe this would make me stronger. Make me a better person. My life changing may not be a terrible thing. Well yeah it’s horrendous seeing my mom like this, but maybe something good will come of this. Seeing me think hard made my dad worried. He came over and said “why don’t you go over to Kyauna’s house. Give your mind a little break.” I agreed and I also hadn’t seen Kyauna for awhile.

When I got there I got out of the car and knocked on the door. Kyauna’s little sister Faith answered the door. She smiled and hugged me. I walked in and Kyauna was eating lunch. She had her long black hair in a ponytail with a ribbon in it. She was wearing a bright blue shirt with blue jeans and converse sneakers. I said “Hi” and sat next to her. She was eating a grilled cheese with bacon on it. The table was big and brown, and right in the middle of the table there was a bowl of fruit, with apples, bananas, and oranges. When I sat down she was finished. She said “want to go play on the trampoline?” I nodded my head and we walked out. I told Kyauna I had something to tell her. We sat down on the trampoline and I told her what happened and she started crying and she gave me a big hug. It was time to go and my aunt picked me up. She was here to help, and I asked how my aunt how my mom was doing. She took a deep breath and said, “Your mom died.” I stared at her for a couple seconds and tears come up and started running down my cheek. I asked if I could go tell Kyauna. She said it was fine. When I got out of the car I already saw Kyauna running toward me and crying. She hugged me and I said “my….” she shushed me and said “I know”. We cried together for a long period of time till I had to go.

The author's comments:
Author Notes
My inspiration to write this story was the hard work I’m trying to keep my mom’s spirit alive. In the beginning of my piece I simply just told everything that happened. I had no emotion, no detail, nothing. I just said what happened and I didn’t write it so the reader was involved. While I was writing the significant part of the story I was reading what I was writing and said to myself. “I think my story could use a little more help.” So I did what I said I was going to do. I had four of my friends read it and give me feedback, and had a teacher look over it. My peer friends read and revised my story and told me the things wrong, they said the same things I said. Emotion, detail, and imagery. So I went back to my computer and started typing again, but this time with the feedback that my friends and teachers told me. When I reread it, I was better, but it wasn’t good enough. I had this feeling that there is one thing missing and you don’t know what. So I had my mom read it over. You know a fresh pair of eyes as my mom said. She said it was good but it needed one more thing to make it perfect. Reflection. That’s what it was, that one thing that was missing, reflection. So back to the computer I went and started typing again. This time when I reread it, it was perfect.

At the end of the process and the work was done, I felt proud of what I wrote. I felt like I wasn’t letting my mom down. I was keeping her spirit alive. Not letting her get washed away. Writing this also made me a better writer. It made me learn new things to put in my story that would make me a clearer, better writer. I struggled through it, remembering all the times my mom and I had. It was hard, but it was also relieving at the same time. I realized in the end that life is going to be hard, but going through this made me a stronger individual and a tougher person. If it wasn’t for my mom I wouldn’t have been able to go through this. In my head she told me, “Mikayla, it’s going to be hard, it’s hard for me not being with you, but in the long shot you’ll become a beautiful, strong, young lady, and that I’m really not gone. I’ll always be in your heart and through the tough and happy memories you and I had.”

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This article has 17 comments.

m.shappy said...
on Nov. 6 2015 at 12:53 pm
m.shappy, Tustin, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Your setback is the platform for your comeback."

I too lost my mom. Love that you are writing about it. Your writing is wonderful and means so much to those people like us who have been through an unimaginable loss.

on May. 1 2015 at 12:50 pm
ABPippins SILVER, League City, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
To die may be an awfully big adventure, but to love is an even grander affair -myself

Wow. Just wow. Your story is heartbreaking and sweet. Your mom would definitely be proud of you

on Feb. 21 2015 at 8:10 pm
Jayquellen BRONZE, Wellesley, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Not all who wander are lost"

You're doing a wonderful job keeping her spirit alive. So long as you give her memories life, she'll always be with you and those you share her with. Keep making her proud, and thank you for sharing

on Sep. 30 2014 at 1:09 pm
hi anastasha it was nice of you to comment that!!!!

on Sep. 30 2014 at 1:09 pm
hi wendy you are so so so so true this story is very sad!!!!!!!!!!!!follow me on facebook instagram and twitter

on Sep. 29 2014 at 2:40 pm
This story was almost the saddest thing i ever read this made me cry i hope you get through it you are a very good writer i love this story so so so so so so so much get through it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

on Sep. 29 2014 at 2:40 pm
This story is really good and it is sad. it made me cry and it was detaild very well. It was also the best thing ever!!!!!!!

z123 said...
on Sep. 22 2014 at 10:52 am
omg this is so sad sorry for your lost ,great memior

Nineenglish4 said...
on Sep. 15 2014 at 1:37 pm
Our class gave it a 4. We esppecially liked it when her team showed up at the hospital.

niveee said...
on Jun. 4 2014 at 1:52 pm
i loved the story

lukso bro said...
on Jun. 4 2014 at 8:27 am
great story mix of comedy drama and action i was sitting on the edge of my sofa.

Lucky Lady said...
on Jul. 27 2013 at 1:18 pm
I thought this story was very well written. The author drew me in to the heartache of a young girl losing her mother.  I thought it was interesting the way her young friends rallied around her with their love, concern and support.

Teachtoto said...
on Jun. 25 2013 at 8:12 pm
I am so proud of my student Mikayla and her final piece. Her writing has come a long way. This is such a sensitive and touching memoir. Job well done!

Ilovecows said...
on Jun. 25 2013 at 10:49 am
Mikayla, your writing is beautiful. I am moved by this piece. You've captured an emotional moment with your vivid detail and imagery. Great job. 

Dana said...
on Jun. 25 2013 at 9:00 am
So sorry for your loss! What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

JaneEyre1217 said...
on Jun. 25 2013 at 8:45 am
Wow, Mikayla!  This is so good. I am sorry about your mom, but she would be so proud of you.  I loved reading your story, very powerful.

kathyh said...
on Jun. 23 2013 at 11:29 pm
Beautifully written from the heart, Mikayla!