Ashley M. Corke February 4, 2003

Academic Writing Childhood Memory

Thursday, March 29, 2001, my world came crashing down at 6:20am.
"I'm, sorry, Coleen. But, she's gone," I heard the nurse tell my mother as I came out of my sleep in the chair.
"I love you, Mom," my mother cried at the foot of the hospital bed and the nurses left the three of us alone. I grabbed my blue and purple teddy bear, which was soft like a kitten. The smell of Band-Aids and anesthetics was strong. The room was blurry with tears, on top of no contacts. I wiped my tears away with my teddy bear as they fell. My bear's fur got matted together.
"Oh, Ashley," my mom cried walking over to where I sat and hugged me. I was numb. Numb with pain. I thought about how I hugged Gramma goodbye as we left for dance on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 7pm. A few hours before that, she held my hand as Ma pumped gas at the Hess gas station outside of Brockport. Her hands were almost soft like velvet. They were cold and comforting. I had put her hand to my cheek in the van on her birthday - March 26, 2001. I kissed her cool, smooth cheek. It was like leather. Her chocolate brown eyes twinkled like diamonds when I told her I loved her. We were on our way to Rochester that day. Both Gramma and I had doctor appointments. She had had her left leg amputated that previous summer, due to gangrene. I had taken care of her for almost the whole summer. We got a lot of laughs out of that. Like this one time, she used the commode and I had to clean it up, considering she had only one leg at the time. Anyways, I had tied my bandanna around my face and nose, shoved a can of air freshener in my pocket, wore rubber gloves and held the bucket out in front of me as far as my arms would let me. Gramma was laughing so hard. It felt good to make her laugh. Gramma was going for a check up on her stump (leg). In the doctor's office that day, I could smell anesthetics, bandages and freshly copied papers. Gramma walked into her appointment for the first time since she started seeing him. We were all so proud of her.
For lunch, we went to Wendy's. I had the chili and sat next to Gramma. The chili warmed me right through and Gramma seemed to glow. With her salt and pepper hair, chocolate brown eyes and big build, she was beautiful. She was and is my guardian angel. Everyone has always said that the three of us look alike: Mom, Gramma and I. I'm proud to have her looks. I loved her more that day than I ever could.
As I put in my contacts, in the bathroom, it felt like I was hugging Gramma just moments ago, rather than days ago.
On my way out of her hospital room, I kissed her forehead, but I wasn't ready to say goodbye.
A few days later, I stood in the funeral home parlor, looking at Gramma sleeping peacefully in her wooden bed. My Gramma was an angel. The smell of lilies was so strong, my insides burned. My eyes searched my sleeping grandmother, wondering why she left me. I still needed her. I leaned over and kissed her forehead, a tear sliding down my cheek. I read and reread the poem I had written and placed at her side. My teddy bear sat next to a pillow with lilies and a "Grandma" ribbon. His eyes were sad. I felt a cold draft and turned around. I was standing by her, all alone. So I walked away from Gramma, through the crowd of people, to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror as tears slid down my face. My Gramma was gone. My best friend was asleep for good.
The night of Gramma's last showing, I was lying in bed, crying, missing her. I was holding my teddy bear and staring at the night light Gramma gave me. Suddenly, I felt someone grab hold of my hand and squeeze it. No one else was in the room with me. Who was it then? Was I imagining it or was it Gramma? I believe Gramma came to say goodbye to me that night.
I miss you, Gramma.