I Lost My Friend In Texas
Copyright 2011 by Margaret Windler
When I was 8, I remember going down to Texas four times in six months. At first I thought it was just to visit and spend time with my father’s relatives and my grandparents. Little did I know those visits would be the last memories I would ever have with my grandparents. It was early spring, almost Easter. My mom told me we would spend Easter in Texas. I was so excited to see my cousins and my grandmother. I always looked forward to seeing her, I never really knew my grandfather until then so I really couldn't be excited about seeing him then. Since my grandfather was always either in a hospital or treatment center, it shocked me to see a “stranger” on my Nana’s couch. He was just sitting there smiling, waiting for us to arrive. During my stay there I got to know him as a person not just as a story. I never asked him why he wasn't there before, or why he didn't feel good. I simply asked about his life and listened to his stories. He became my companion.
A few weeks later I was waiting for my mom to come listen to my presentation at the state fair at school. I was disappointed when she didn't come. I walked home as usual and found my parents waiting for me with a box of tissues. They told me that my grandfather who I had just gotten to know had passed away.
I remember that day clearly in my mind. It was May 7th. My parents were both crying, something I had never seen before. I skipped school the next day to head to Texas for the memorial service. It was simple and short. We stayed for the weekend then went back home. It was sad leaving my Nana alone, It was like she was in a different world. Little did I know she soon would be.
Later that summer in August we went back to Texas. I was accustomed to going down so it was no big deal. When I walked into that house a big shock hit me. My Nana was bald! Later in the trip I learned that my Nana had lung cancer. She had been there for me my whole life, I couldn't picture not having her there.
When we got home I started 3rd grade. I worked as hard as I could to get good grades to send to my Nana. When I got my school pictures I sent her one of the to show her how much I had grown up. When I got my first report card in November I asked my mom to help me send it to her. She sadly shook her head and said that Nana was gone. She had died the night before. November 11th. Six months and four days after my grandfather.
It didn't come as a surprise, it came more as a blow to my happiness. I went to school the next day crying. I handed a note to my teacher saying I would be out for a week and why. That day I couldn't see through my tears. At lunch I sat alone and shrugged off everyone, even my best friend. My class had religion in the chapel after lunch. The teacher was not my teacher, she was the vice principal. She kept me after to tell her why I was so sad. I told her my sad story.
The final time I went to Texas in those six months, was the saddest. I went to my Nana’s service and cried my heart out. I then had to help pack the house. I got to choose 10 things that I loved and that I wanted to remember my grandparents by.
As I sit here writing this and crying, I keep several of those items
close, as well as a picture of them. I will see them every day, and
know that they are with me.
in the subject line of the message
we won't know where to send it.)
The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher