This I believe…
It was the day of my tenth birthday party. My grandma couldn’t make it to the party because she was exhausted and sick from all of the chemo treatments. She sent her gift over and stayed home as the cancer slowly took its course on her body. It was as if I could hear her tired heart calling me from a block away. I needed to go see her, just to talk to her one last time. My cousin walked me over and then went back to my house. I slowly walked into the quiet, empty, two-floor home. I could hear the stairs creak as I climbed up to the second floor. Everything was so still until I heard the evening news on in her bedroom. I walked through the doorway and saw her. Her tiny, old body, just relaxing there as if she didn’t have a care in the world. She was your picture perfect old woman, salt and pepper hair and all. She looked over at me and a smile spread across her face as if I was the highlight of her day. She had that effect on people, in an instant you felt like the most important person in the world. She patted the bed next to her, motioning for me to sit down. I’m not all that sure how long we talked for, but we talked about my birthday, and all the presents I received. We also talked about how much she loved me and that I have the best family ever. She held my hand as we talked and talked. It was nice to hear that she cared about me considering there are thirty other people in my immediate family. We relaxed there for a while, just me and her watching the news. It’s probably one of the most memorable moments of my life. After a little while she told me I should probably get back to my party, because they’d be looking for me soon. I got up and she hugged and kissed me goodbye.
The next morning my grandpa called my mom and I’m not quite sure what he told her but her face went blank and she hung up slowly. I believe that you should follow your instincts and cherish every moment you have.
The night before, right after I left, she fell into a coma. We went over there every single night to visit her for five days. It was one of the hardest times of my life. We repeated this pattern until the day came when her five year fight with cancer ended. She was the head of the entire family, and she was gone. She was the most remarkable person I have ever known and is one of my heroes. She’s with me always, and is in my mind during everything I do.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.