So Little Time

February 12th, 2013 posted by Megan Hartmann

by Megan Hartmann

sad “Ring, Ring,” it was the phone call that would change my life forever. My mom went over to answer and began to talk. An instant sinking feeling came over me like a ton of bricks sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Her once bright and cheery face turned as cloudy and as foggy as a dark, stormy day. Something was wrong, and it was not the same kind of wrong as when you failed a test. This was different. Holding back her tears, my mom hung up the phone. There was an unwelcome, awkward silence and all I could hear was my heart thumping in my chest. “It’s your grandfather,” my whole body went numb. I knew this would happen. A couple of months ago, he had been on a mountain in Chili, when suddenly his lungs filled with fluid. The doctors found out that it was cancer. Just like it had grasped the life of my grandmother when I was 3, it would soon take the life of my Poppy. I was only 12, and he was my last grandparent. I did not want to lose him. He was sent home from Chili to America carefully, knowing that he could die on that flight. He made it back safely, and moved in with us, where he started chemo. While he lived with me, I was anxious to get to know him and make up for lost time. He shared his many memories with me and taught me about life’s challenges. Even the times that he didn’t know that he was doing it, he was. It seemed like he felt the same way as I. He needed to pass on what he would one day leave behind. // One day, the doctor gave us good news. The cancer had stopped growing! He would be okay, or at least for a while. So, my grandpa moved out and bought his own condo, but we still worried. And now, the very worst had happened. “The cancer has more than doubled in size,” my mom’s voice came back to me like a razor sharp knife coming down for a second stab. “His lungs are filled with fluid again, and they put him straight into hospice. We all knew this would happen. It’s only a matter of days.” My throat tightened, my eyes burned, and my thoughts jumbled in my head. For a couple of days, we visited him and each day he got worse. It seemed like as every new day came, less and less of him was with us. The whole family knew that we were losing him. We watched other families lose their loved ones and carts covered in white ghostly sheets were wheeled out every day. The thought was sickening. One day, it grew so bad that he couldn’t speak and he could barely move. Everyone stayed with him for most of the day. At the end of the day, my mother advised me to say, “Good-bye,” and I knew that it wasn’t just until tomorrow. I walked in and hugged him, holding it for a long time. “I’ll see you later,” I whispered. Surprisingly, I saw him nod and let a tear slip as I walked away. “We are gathered here today in honor of…” I heard my voice, but it didn’t quite sound like me. I stood in front of the church at his funeral mass, trying not to cry. As I was reading, a thought occurred to me. Maybe this wasn’t good-bye. Maybe when he nodded his head, he knew that he would see me again. I should live my life like there is no tomorrow and know that with death, there is new life. That was his lesson, and maybe he wanted me to pass that on to you.

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Megan Hartmann (1 Posts)

This essay was written and submitted by thirteen year old Megan Hartmann: "I am a 13 year old honors student attending Hopewell Middle School in Alpharetta, GA. I am in the 8th grade. I aspire to be a teacher and an author. I love to read, write, draw, and play the guitar and clarinet."


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