Firstly, any of you steal my stuff, I'll cut off important body parts and feed them to my dog. Right! Now that's out of the way!! You know I love ya!
This story I hnad to write for my young adult lit class. The ending is corny, I knew I shouldn't have added this bit at the end but oh well, it will
get changed, eventually!
It was 1_:30 PM, and I hadn't studied for my Geometry exam. I knew I hadn't studied and I knew I was going to fail. It was just that I had other things
on my mind. I had gotten an early Christmas gift. Garth Brooks was performing, and my sister had gotten tickets for a group of my friends. It was all
we could talk about for weeks! I had seen him perform once before and regaled my friends with stories about what he wore and all the fabulous stunts
“He jumped off the stage and swung into the crowd! He wore a turquoise cowboy hat, and his hair, it was so perfect!! It must have been done by a professional
hair dresser cause it was just that good!! He wore great blue cowboy boots!"
All of my teachers were getting sick of my rambling. More than once, a teacher had told me to be quiet. Tonight was the big night! We were going!
I walked into the geometry classroom, ready to get the exam over with. I didn't know how to do a proof, or draw an isosceles triangle, but I didn't care!
I began my exam. Around me, I heard someone using their eraser, and I fervently hoped he wouldn’t get the bits of eraser on my new sweater. I could
smell the kid who hadn't taken a shower behind me, (he was famous for that), and the stifling, stuffy air in the classroom didn't make it better. I was
on question number four when I heard the door open, whispering, then felt a tap on my shoulder. It was my sister. Why was my sister interrupting my geometry
exam? Was their something wrong? And did this mean we wouldn’t be going to the concert after all?
“We are going to Utah, right now, hurry up and pack up your stuff!"
I didn't even think. I grabbed my notebook and ran out the door. I vaguely heard my teacher whispering "You're going now?"
My sister and I both ignored her. Our principal was waiting outside the classroom. As soon as the door closed, my voice seemed to come out of my throat
without my permission.
“It's Mom, there's something wrong with Mom! What is it?”
My sister told me we were flying out within the hour and we needed to go home and pack. We joined hands and ran across the street and ran the few blocks
to our house. I didn’t ask any questions. I just focused on getting there as soon as I could. I remember our feet slamming against the concrete and the
chill, because I had left so quickly, I had forgotten a jacket.
As we ran up the steps to our house, my sister and I burst through the door, still holding hands. My dad shoved a suitcase at each of us, telling us we
had fifteen minutes to pack. As I ran downstairs, I kept repeating
“Oh God, Oh God, please let her be OK!"
I still didn't know exactly what was wrong. I only knew we had to get to my grandmother's house and we had to do it quickly.
As I threw things into my bag, I seemed to leave my body, and float somewhere above it. I remembered talking to Mom just a few days ago. Mom had diabetes,
and four years earlier, she had gone into kidney failure. We had much heartbreak along the way, but things seemed to be OK. She went to Grandma's house
two weeks earlier because one of my aunts was going to give Mom her kidney. All of the tests were done, but Mom had developed a severe case of the flu,
and had to be put in the hospital. She got out of the hospital just 2 days before this catastrophe. I had just talked to her last night! She had sounded
fine then, a little weak maybe, but wasn't that to be expected?
As I threw the last of the stuff into my bag, a wave of pure terror and confusion swept over me. I ran upstairs, carrying my suitcase with me. I brought
my stuff out to the car and saw that my dad was already out there.
“What's wrong with her, Dad?" I asked.
“They think she's had a heart attack. They called me early this morning and told me to come out there. I bought my ticket, but then your grandpa called
me back. The doctors are bringing in the family now."
I could tell Daddy was in shock. His normally expressive voice was a horrible monotone reminding me of my last-hour Spanish teacher. There was always
a hint of desperation in her voice, as if she couldn't wait to get forty rowdy, obnoxious freshmen out of her class. That is what my dad sounded like,
but it was made even worse because the desperation wasn't common and therefore was more terrifying , more intense. His voice put more fear in me than
Mom's actual predicament. If Dad was scared, and he was the pillar of strength in the family, what in the world did it mean for the weaker pillars in
the family structure?
Finally we were all ready to go. We jumped in the car and Dad sped towards the airport. We arrived with just minutes to spare and ran to the plane, terrified
that we would miss it. That would be the ultimate tragedy, we all thought. This was the last plane that flew to Phoenix, which would then fly us back
to Salt Lake City.
The plane rides seemed to take forever. . We didn't talk much. There was nothing to say. Mom was sick, what else did we have to discuss? There was
nothing significant to discuss anymore. It was as if a black storm cloud had descended upon all of us.
We finally made it to Salt Lake City at eight PM. When we got off the plane, my Aunt Margaret and my grandfather were waiting for us. Maggie gave us hugs
and I could feel her fear like a lightning bolt. The only thing Maggie could whisper was "Your mother needs you now, more than ever."
We went to the hospital and went to the critical care unit. We all walked into her room. There were machines everywhere. There were machines helping
her breathe, and machines helping her kidneys. I hadn't felt any emotions until then. It all hit me at once. I never thought she would die, and even
then, the thought didn’t cross my mind, but then I never realized how sick she really was. I ran from the room and my grandfather grabbed my arm.
“She can't even breathe! She can't even breathe, Papa!"
“She can, she can breathe, she just needs some help," Papa said. His voice was encouraging and calm.
He talked to me, calming me down. Amazingly it worked and I was able to catch my breath and organize my thoughts. He convinced me I needed to go back
into the room and talk to Mom. I needed to tell her how I felt. As I held her hand, I entered another world, a world where things were OK and life was
not so scary anymore.
As I talked to Mom, I seemed to go back in time. It was four years earlier and I was in sixth grade. I was a bratty kid at the time. I didn’t care about
school. I was more concerned with hanging out with my friends than focusing on my studies. Mom and Dad encouraged me to focus on my school work. They
said they wanted me to have the opportunities they never had. Dad had gone to a technical college but he was still working two jobs to survive and put
food on the table. Mom tried to go back to school, but with two kids, it was just too difficult. Their pleas fell on deaf ears though. I wasn’t listening.
In my small town, if you studied, you were considered a nerd or an egghead. I remembered when I was in fourth or fifth grade. I was sitting outside at
recess reading a book. The teachers made me go to our guidance counselor, as they thought I was too antisocial. That was the last day I read a book that
I can remember when my mom got sick. It was three days before Christmas during my sixth grade year. We all thought she just had a bad cold and weren’t
too concerned about it. However, she kept getting worse and worse and she finally went to the doctor. When I came home from school that day, I knew there
was something wrong. The house was very quiet and my dad was talking to my grandmother in Utah, which never happened. He got off the phone and told me,
“Your mom has Pneumonia. She is in the hospital.”
He must have seen me pale, because he then tried to comfort me.
“She will be out of the hospital in a few days, don’t you worry about that, and we’ll go and see her when ever we can, OK?”
I nodded and went to my room. Mom was in the hospital. What would happen for Christmas? I could feel this funny weight constricting my chest. What was
this weight? I felt so low, and didn’t want to talk to any of my friends. I know now that I was probably feeling depressed and upset but didn’t know
how to express it properly. My family didn’t express emotions well and I was no exception.
That night, my dad, sister and I went to the hospital to see Mom. She was very sleepy and didn’t respond much when we talked to her. At first I remember
I was bewildered. Why did Mom not talk to us? Than a nurse explained that she was very sleepy and would be much more lucid in the morning. I was relieved
to hear this. I felt so fearful that she didn’t talk much, as she was usually very bubbly and excitable.
Mom was unable to come home for Christmas that year, and it was a very depressing Christmas indeed. We didn’t open any gifts and even when we looked in
our stockings, there was none of the thrill that we felt in years past. The snow seemed to reflect our mood that year as well. It was brown, not the
white stuff of Christmas cards and TV specials.
If we thought Christmas was bad, we were wrong. The day after Christmas the doctors gave us the devastating news. Mom had had diabetes since she was
a small child and it had affected her kidneys. They said she needed a kidney transplant, and if she didn’t get one she would die. Luckily for her, there
were machines that flushed out her body so even with out functioning kidneys, she could still live. The procedure was very hard on her though. And she
had to give up her job at a bank because she was usually too exhausted to work properly.
Over the next four years, I learned a lot about family, devotion and I learned so much about myself as well. As Mom was home more, she was able to monitor
my homework and made sure I had it done every day. After about a year, I had learned the importance of school, and she didn’t need to monitor me anymore.
I went from C’s and D’s on my report card to straight A’s.
Our family grew closer at that time too. We all had a common goal, of finding Mom a kidney. We had come so close. My aunt Margaret was scheduled to
give Mom one of her kidneys but with this current set back, it looked as if she would never do this.
As I sat in the hard green hospital chair and pleaded with Mom to get better, a sense of doom came over me. I knew she was going to die, I just knew it.
I was unable to produce tears at that time. I just sat there, trying to digest the fact that my mom would die. I thought this only happened in fairy
tales but here it was, happening to me, and I was no Snow White.
I was correct in assuming she would die. She died the day after Halloween. My family was devastated. We made funeral arrangements, and wrote obituaries.
My grandmother prepared a speech which brought tears to everyone’s eyes. In short she said,
“My daughter was only on this Earth for a short time. She had a great husband and two wonderful children who are self-reliant, independent, and will carry
on her legacy of love and hope for the rest of their lives. Girls, remember this. Your mother loved you very much. She tried to instill in you the values
of discipline, love and optimism she had until her dying day. Before she died, she asked me to guide you on your way and she said she knew you had it
in you to become magnificent women. I have seen your strength over the past week and I admire you. I hope you remember the values your mother instilled
in you, and I hope you know you can call on any member of this family at any time.”
With that, she broke down and cried, and we held her as she wept. She made us promise then and there we would promise to carry on her legacy. It is
my goal in life to continue this legacy. I know it can be done. I just have to remember all she did for me.
As I finished my speech for my speech class, my senior year of college, I knew I had gotten an A. I had worked for ages on this story, and judging by
the expressions of my fellow class mates, I knew they had gotten the message of my legacy and of my mother’s as well. As I returned to my seat, I got
a standing ovation, and I felt Mom’s legacy flowing through me more strongly than evers before.