High school; the best four years of your life, at least that's what it's supposed to be. High school morphs us into the person that we want to be. Walking into my freshman year, I was ready to start the new school year. These next four years will help me figure out who I want to become. Of course, I was nervous to the point where I was shaking and felt like the world was moving at 100 mph. But, my nerves got the best of me, and I was out of school for the first week. I was terrified to walk in the crowded hallways and have hundreds of other students near me. By the second week of school, I had an orange paper in my binder that allowed me to leave class early. By the end of the first month of school, I finally could walk in the hallway without anything triggering my anxiety. But then, my world stopped.
I was sitting at home, about to start my homework and I got a call from my mom, "Hannah, your grandma isn't doing well". I remember lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling thinking of the memories that we have shared. She's been in and out of the hospital for years now. Knowing that I had little time left with her, I decided to go see her. It was a Tuesday, around six-o-clock, very cloudy, no rays from the sun were popping through the clouds. We pulled up to the nursing home, put the code into the door, and walked in. I remember a long dark hallway with machines everywhere, then we turned right and we were at her door. The room was dark; the only light coming from the television and my cousin's phone screen.
The room was filled with whispers, asking how she has been doing, did she wake up, or if there is anything we need to know. Then I looked to my right. There she was, lying in her bed in a peaceful sleep. Just by looking at my grandma I could tell that she wasn't doing well. She was in a coma; her mouth was open and her head leaning to the right. She's been in a coma for a couple of weeks now and everyone knew that she wasn't waking up anytime soon. She was so pale and lost a lot of weight. She looked so different to the point that I could not recognize my grandma.
Throughout the visit, my cousin would make phone calls to update. Sometimes people would ask to talk to my grandma over the phone. There was a study going around seeing if you could hear the people around you while you are in a coma. I know it sounds crazy, but; when the phone was up to her ear, her breathing could get heavier. When I would talk to her, I could see that she would start breathing faster. That's how I knew that she could hear me and everyone around her. With cold tears dropping from my eyes made my cheeks sting, I had everyone around me and I remember thinking, "Whenever you are ready granny, I love you." Then we left.
We got in the car and went to get my little sister to go out for dinner. Everyone had long faces; no one wanted to be there. All we wanted to do was to go home and just be alone. Next thing you know we were home and the sun fell.
It was the next day and the sky was gloomy, no sun to be seen. By the time I got home, I felt something heavy on my shoulders and I knew something was wrong. Finally around five-o-clock my mom finally walked into the door from work and got changed for her volleyball game. She pulled my sister and me into the living room, all lights were off and the window was open letting a breeze in. "Your grandma passed away in her sleep last night," Mom said. My jaw dropped and my eyes were burning to fight the urge to let tears run down my face. I looked at my sister and she was speechless. Of course, we all took a moment to let everything sink in. We hugged and cried for what felt like hours. Then it was time for my mom leave with her friend to go out for the night. For the rest of the night, I was locked into my room, not wanting to have any human contact. I still felt the weight on my shoulders like something or someone was still there. It remained for days.
Days passed like a blur and it was the day of her funeral. I didn't want to get out of bed, but I had to be strong for not only myself but my little sister. I was fourteen and my sister was eleven when my grandma passed. It was hard for her to process what was happening, so I had to fake it until I made it. I wore my strapless black and white dress with my hair straightened. After my hair was done, I got my flats and we left the house. It was a nice sunny day, only a couple of clouds in the sky. Once we got to the funeral home, the parking lot was filled with people of all ages. We got out of the car and met my dad at the door, then walked in.
Walking into the building, I saw my aunt and uncle sitting on the couch right next to the door. Once again, I felt something on my shoulder and it only got heavier throughout the service. I walked up to my uncle and asked, "How does she look?" "She looks like she is in peaceful sleep," he replied, "She is smiling and has her favorite outfit and glasses on." Then they finally opened the door. I followed my uncle and aunt into the room and got in line to see her. He was right. She looked happy like she wasn't in any pain anymore. That was the first time in years that she looked like she wasn't in pain and that she had nothing to worry about. All of her jewelry standing out, the blue from her shirt popping out the little color left in her skin. After saying hello to her, I took my seat on the front right bench next to the pictures. I examined every picture on the board and had flashbacks about the times we shared. I couldn't listen to the music that was being played. I was casting everything out. I am pretty sure I went through a whole box of tissues during the service. By the time the service was over, the room was filled with whimpers and when everyone got up the room went dead silent. It was time to leave and we left for the cemetery.
It was a short drive and by the time we got to her burial site, there was a heavy breeze and the sun was shining right down on us. She was buried next to her son and daughter, finally reunited with them. Everyone was around her casket and was given a pink rose. With tears running down my cheeks, I set the rose on the top of her casket. As she was going down, a blue butterfly flew around everyone and once the butterfly flew away, the pressure on my shoulders was gone. The first thing that came into my mind was that the butterfly represented her leaving us and going home to heaven. Then two butterflies came, and I thought that it was her two children that passed before she did.
The weight on my shoulders was gone but I knew that she was still there. Writing this paper right now, I can feel the weight on my shoulders and how heavy it felt when she first left. It makes me feel safe and makes me know that she will always be there for me when I really need someone. I will always have her in my mind and having her with me now is all I need.