This I Believe

Claire - Littleton, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Real Medicine

Does medicine actually work? Both my grandmothers passed away within a month and a half of each other. My dad’s mother died after a 14 year long struggle of breast cancer accompanied with a heart aneurism. Then my mom’s mother died after 8 yrs in the hospital with Alzheimer’s. Although I had a full plate, with school and sports, it was only increasingly hard to handle.

Bubbles, my dad’s mom, a nickname that she was given when we were little was predicted to die when I was one year old, yet she survived until I was 15. Her perseverance and strength kept her going. She would take us on trips, send letters and phone calls frequently, never letting us forget that we had a grandma that loved us. After a double mastectomy, the cancer had not returned for a long time, we thought things were going to be okay. Her family was her glue. She was tired of treatment. The hardest week of all of this was when we thought she was gone; she rapidly came back only to tell her children her last thoughts. Though she knew it was her time to go, I can assure everyone it was not easy for her to let go of the family she adored. Nobody wants to let go of the ones they truly love.

My other grandma was one of great strength too. I know she loved me and cared for me no matter what. Every family member would pay visits, send her cards, and tell her we still cared. She was quite a woman. Alzheimer’s is an extremely difficult disease and she managed to deal with it for many years. At her funeral, her favorite quote was read, “Love is patient and kind, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (I.Cor, 13: 4a, 7, 8a)

My grandmothers never ceased to amaze me. No matter what the difficulties they were dealing with, I never knew because they played it off. They kept pushing and living until the last moment when they knew it was okay to go. They both had large families and countless friends that cared about them, and the two of them never quit. After medicines failed, or tired them out completely, they wanted to keep living.

As much pain as they were in, and as much as it would have been easy to quit, they didn’t. Our families didn’t let go either. We never lost our hope and love for them. The support we had for them choosing to “go to a better place” never stopped. The mistakes and the hardships in your life are forgotten with the last breathe of air you take because what people remember are the things and ideas that you stand for. The world will remember them, and anybody like this, as strong people that never give up. I believe the real medicine is family love.