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Journey Down a Broken Road
May 28th – Minute 1
I walked in the front door of my house after a long day of school. The weather was nice, the sun was out. I could hear the birds chirping and my neighbors playing outside, giggling like little school children. I walked up the 7 steps from the foyer to the kitchen hall and gently placed my school bag next to the green couch which had just recently been replaced. The new one was a dark forest green and had two seats which reclined backwards. I had only seen a glance of my mom, dad, and brother standing in the living room. As I looked up from placing my bag, time seemed to stand still. Every second felt like a millennium as looked at the pain in my mother’s eyes. It was overwhelming. Every muscle in my body, no matter how miniscule it may have been, tensed. The tears that dripped down from her red, swollen eyes were devastating. Her soft blonde hair, which was slightly highlighted with a touch of age, was muffled and askew. I looked over at my father and brother; their eyes also seemed to be swollen and slightly red. I quickly turned back to my mom.
She looked up from the suit case she was packing and said, “Its grandpa.”
Hoping, praying to God, I asked as calmly as I could manage, “Is he not doing well?” But my worst fear was confirmed,
“No, Tara, he passed away.”
All I could say was, “Oh.”
Life isn’t Fair
I wonder why the universe is so cruel. At the moments when you wish time would speed up so the pain would go away, it slows down, a second becomes a minute and a minute feels like an hour. It breaks you down, beats you too pulp, forcing you to believe the pain will never leave. The cruelty of the universe is unbearable in so many ways. My mother always says life isn’t feir. I believe it now.
May 28th – Minute 2
After I regained my voice I asked “Why are you packing?”
“I’m going to stay with Grandma for a few days, we need to make plans and…” she continued to cry and my dad hugged her. I had never before seen so much love and affection in my father’s eyes; if she was hurting I knew he was too. No matter all the fights, arguments and sadness, In that one instant I knew he loved her like no other, and I hoped they would stay infinite.
My reverie was interrupted when my dad said “You should go with your mother, your brother and I’ll be there in a few days.” My brother Tommy was part of a travel baseball league and had a tournament he had to attend. My parents had decided my grandfather would not want Tommy to miss it on account of his death. I walked down the hallway which was painted a pale shade of turquoise. I hated it. The color didn’t match our house, it wasn’t per say us. It was a gloomy color, depressing almost but at that moment it described our family perfectly and would for the next few months. When I reached the bathroom door I slipped off my sneakers and socks and kicked them into my bedroom only a little further down the hall. The bathroom tile was cold against my feet and sent a chill up my spine. I turned the shower on and removed my clothes. The water was hot; it burnt my feet and neck. All the pressure and emotions were finally beginning to boil over. I began to cry, harder and heavier than I ever thought possible. It was hard to catch my breath and the steam rising from the water was not helping. I slid down the edge of the wall and sat on the white ceramic with the water beating down on my back.
It’s amazing how much pain one person can feel. I remember having to help my friend through the same situation two years earlier. I always wondered when it would be my turn and how hard it would hit to experience a death in my own family. Now I wish I never had to find out. He wasn’t even sick, sure he was old but he seemed healthy. Then suddenly he was gone, one second a living being, the next a spirit left to uncover his way to heaven. He died of a heart attack, and it was heartbreaking.
May 28th – Minute 3
After my shower I slipped in a towel and walked the three feet into my bedroom. There were still tears running down my eyes as I changed into a casual outfit for the hour car ride to my grandmother’s.
My mom walked into my room and told me, “We are leaving in about two minutes so you should get your stuff packed.” Before she left my room she hugged me gently. Following her orders, I quickly grabbed as many shirts, pants, skirts and other articles of clothing as possible. I had yet to take out my bathing suits for the spring so I had to go rummaging through the bottom of my drawers to find them. I couldn’t decide whether to bring the black and yellow bikini which flattered my skin tone or the blue checkered one which accentuated my body, so I threw them both in my suitcase. I placed the suitcase on my bed and pulled the zipper shut. I sat down on my bottom bunk which was sprawled with clothes of all assortments. At the end of my bed was my kitten, sucking on her tail as if it was baby’s bottle or a toddler’s thumb. That cat, my kitten relates to me in so many ways, it’s a little creepy, my mother always used to tell me, “You and that cat share the same soul.” And I believe it without a doubt.
I crawled to end of my bed and softly picked her up and placed her on my lap. “I love you Gigi.” I whispered, and she began to purr.
Not everyone believes in angels, loved ones who have returned to heaven as a glorious being to protect their family and friends. Every day after his death I waited for a sign some sort of message to let me know he was okay and I would be okay too, and each and every day I found one. It gave me hope that maybe death won’t be so scary after all.
Lady bugs are my favorite insect, the day of his funeral a lady bug landed on my shoulder. At first I thought nothing of it, then the day I after down by the lake one landed on my knee. It was miraculous, I started to see them everywhere I looked and everywhere I went. I knew than that it had to be him.
May 28th – Minute 4
Once I put Gigi back on the bed I stood up and looked around at my bed room. For ages I found it childish; it needed to be changed. My walls were lime green and egg plant purple. They reminded me of Barney. My rabbit cages sat against one wall and my top bunk was covered in layers of stuffed animals I had collected through the years. The carpet, still a bright magenta remaining from the day I was born stained by the nuisance of my childhood, was wearing and no longer fit the room. I felt like I was living in a mess of paint an artist had discarded from his palette because they were too juvenile for his taste. Everything just felt wrong and yet none of it mattered anymore. I felt numb as looked at my room; gradually I was pulled out the tunnel I was falling into when I heard my name called down the hall. I swiftly grabbed my stuff and exited my room. When I crossed the threshold of my kitchen my father asked “Ready?”
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” I have lived by this since I was 13 years old when a coach of mine recited it to me after a hard day of practice. Since that day whenever I’m hurt, or sore or emotionally wounded I just repeat it in my head over and over. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
May 28th – Minute 5
My mom’s things were already at the top of stair case. Both mine and mother’s tears had finally
seized, before we left I hugged my dad and brother goodbye. “Bye dad, love you.”
“Love you too, please be good.”
Finding I still had some sense of humor in me I replied “Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to throw a wild party.” I smiled up at him and he laughed at my usual joke. I left the house and walked down the pathway leading to our car when I ran into our other cat Indie. He looked so peaceful sitting under our little blooming dog wood tree, like nothing could wrong in the world. Eventually I made my way to the car and put my bag in the backseat, turned on the radio to 92.3, and put the cool air on. My mom got in the car and put the keys in the ignition. The car came to life with a rumble and thud. We pulled out of the drive and down to end of our street; I turned and looked at my mother “It’s going to be okay.”
She returned my comment with a sad smile and said “I know, I just thought we would have a few more years together.” I watched the houses zoom by as we drove out of town each and every one different in their own way. We were about to take a tragic journey down a road neither of us were ready for, but we would get through it together.