In Memorial of A Grandparent

This story is based on a true experience that happened way back in 2002. Anyways, all names have been changed to protect my family, and also, because it will feel less like it's happening again. This is dedicated both to my mother and my grandmother, who although gone, is still here somehow.

"She might not last much longer," said Jean Damsa. The whole family was quiet. Jean's mother, Emerald Turles, had been having problems since before Katie was born. When she had a heart attack before mom and dad were even married, her dad spent time with her in the hospital. And grandma knew that he loved her, because he did that not only for Jean, but for Emerald. And now, with 9-year-old Katie and 7-year-old Johnny, grandma really was dying out. Her kidneys had been having problems recently, and she had to go to dialysis. And Katie and Johnny really didn't want to lose her. She was a special part of their lives; at Christmas, she'd always have awesome gifts, and she was also sweet. And now, they were losing her.

"Are we gonna visit her again mom?" asked Katie. Katie, although sometimes a little on the mean side, always wanted people to be alright.

"Yes, Katie. Although this might be the last time," said Jean. The whole room fell silent again.

The next day, the family piled into the car, and headed on the two hour trip to Clinton, North Carolina, to visit Emerald in the hospital. They finally got there, first going to the house that Emerald and her husband, Hersh, had lived in for thirty-something years. Hersh was there, waiting for them. He got in the car, and they headed on to the hospital. When they got there, they headed to Emerald's room. After awhile, Emerald had to go to another place. Before she left, the kids got one last chance to talk to her.

"I love you grandma," said Katie, little knowing that she'd never speak to her grandma again.

"I love you too Katie," said Emerald. She smiled at Katie, and then was wheeled out of the room.

A few days later, Katie and Johnny were spending their time with their great-grandma Dana and their great-aunt Nora. They were kind of bored, since the two older people were watching racing, but Johnny and Katie soon found these flowers that you could touch and pop. And one minute, they were laughing and giggling as the flowers exploded; the next they were solemn as a familiar car rolled into the driveway; their parents car. Immediately, the two adults went inside and came out with the kids' stuff a few minutes later. Jean looked as though she'd been crying.

"Is grandma okay?" asked Katie. Jean looked at her husband, Bert, and then looked back at Katie.

"Katie, grandma is gone," said Jean, tears shining in her eyes. Immediately, Katie and Johnny started crying. They'd lost their grandma, who meant so much to them.

"No, she can't be gone," said Katie.

Now it was the funeral for Emerald. The preacher talked and talked. But one line was the weirdest.

"In fact, some may remember her at her 50th wedding anniversary, swirling around in a blue dress and talking to everyone," said the preacher. In fact, that had not been Emerald, it had been Katie. In fact, Katie was wearing the same dress to that funeral as she had worn to the 50th anniversary. It kind of made Katie feel sad because her family knew that Emerald had worn a white dress, but the preacher didn't remember. Katie's dad read I'll Love You Forever at that funeral, with Katie and Johnny reciting the one repeating line. As they got in the car to ride to the cemetery, Katie got to ride up front with her grandpa. She noticed he was crying, and she gave him a hug. When they got to the cemetery, and had the last little bit of the service, Katie couldn't cry.

Now as Katie remembers this, sitting at her computer and typing, she knows that it has been five years- since then, Hersh, Dana, and Nora have all passed away. That happened in 2005. Jean has no parents left. And Katie has become a young writer, writing mainly Cars stories on But still, the memory of what happened in 2002 will always be remembered, especially with the last words Katie ever said to her grandma.

This is absolutely true. Everything in it is true. The little flowers I included; they really were there. I remember them so well because they were kind of like grandma- one minute, they were there, the next, they were gone forever. Nora died in March of 2005, of either smoking too much, or cancer. I don't remember. Dana died, we think, of depression from losing her daughter, her house, and her freedom all at the same time; had she lived till November, she would have been 95 years old. Hersh died on November 10th, 2005. Me and my brother were out of school, and my Uncle Lenny, who hardly ever calls, called us, asking for mom. Ten minutes later, my dad got home and told us that our grandpa had died in his sleep; he was 80 years old. The things that happened after are in it's own, a truly weird and storybook-ish story.

Starts With Goodbye