Anything can happen in one day. Anything can change the course of someone’s life in an instant. And, anything can change someone’s opinion overnight. It’s these small occurrences that can alter someone’s life forever. For me, it was the witness of my uncle’s death.
I walked into his room after a two hour car ride. A couple more hours more in the waiting room in the hospital lobby and in the waiting room on his floor. I was getting sick of looking at sad faces all around me; I wanted to have my parents at my side at that moment. I opened the sliding glass door to his room, and I walked inside. My uncle was suffering from kidney failure, and the mechanical kidney was at his side, doing whatever it was doing. I remember that there was an oxygen mask on his face at the time, and my aunt, my mom, and my dad were at his bedside. I looked at the heart monitor screen that was hanging from a metal arm that extended from the top of the headboard to just under the fluorescent light.
I didn’t know what the squiggly lines meant on the screen, and I assumed that it meant he was fine. I looked back at my uncle, and he looked at me and then to my aunt. The fog in the mask covered his mouth, but I saw his mouth moving. I did not know what he was saying, but I continued to look at him. He looked so helpless. I looked back at the monitor, and I saw a straight line come out from the right side of the screen. I knew that was not good, and in an instant, screams of alarms went off. I watched in horror as my uncle closed his eyes for the last time. Nurses ran out of the booth, and my uncle was surrounded by an army of light blue and pink scrubs. Two minutes of chaos ended when everybody took a step back, put their stethoscopes back around their necks, and my aunt kneeled down next to my uncle. I knew what had happened to my uncle, I knew that he was gone, but I did not cry.
I went back to the waiting room, and I got my brother. We both stopped at the glass door to his room, and we went inside. There my uncle lied with a blanket up to his chin. I looked at the monitor, and it was off. The oxygen mask was placed on the rack behind his bed, and the only light in the room was the light underneath the rack. He was still wearing the heart condition necklace. My aunt lifted his head gently, and then my dad came around to pull it off his neck. My father got it off, gave it to my aunt, and then, she gave it to me. I held it in my hand, looked at it, and took in the moment. I would never forget where I got this, who I got it from, and why. We all said a prayer at that moment, and then, my aunt covered his head with the blanket, and we left the room.
My uncle was a man who always made you smile. Upon arriving to his house, he immediately made me laugh by telling jokes. His jokes made me love him, and at this moment, I still do.
My uncles death made me realize how quickly things can change. In a matter of minutes, my uncle passed away, and he was gone from my life. I believe that in an instant, anything can change to a positive or negative end result. I could never get over the fact that he died, and I watched him, and it happened so fast. I believe everyday can change in minutes, and you have to prepare for that. If you are not, you are going to fail.
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