What She Left Me | Teen Ink

What She Left Me

October 14, 2019
By Kendall1815 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
Kendall1815 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments


I clutch the glass object in my hand, feeling it's familiar edges on my palm. I look down and see its blue interior, speckled with flecks of gold and silver. As I do this I am struck with the ache of grief in my heart. It's ok, I tell myself as my mind travels back to the day my beloved keepsake was given to me. On that day the wind blew cold on my face as I shivered to keep warm. The leaves were making their descent towards winter, setting the grey sky ablaze with fiery reds and vivid oranges. As I see my grandmother approaching, I feel warm and sprint to fling my arms around her as she squeezes tight. I feel my eyes fill with warm tears as I remember the warmth of her embrace and the sound of her voice, a simple thing I took for granted before she was gone. I grasp the cross-shaped object like it's my lifeline and slowly stand up to head to the church. 

As I walk in I find myself remembering the memories we shared, most about the times in her small homey house, inhabited by a tiny yippy dog who would do just about anything for a treat. The shelves in the house were bursting with antiques and tiny decorations of Jesus and little crosses. I remember spending late nights hanging over the tv's flashing lights, watching Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and frosty the snowman on a loop because I refused to watch anything else. Years later, I remember the day I finally grew taller than her. She laughed as a tear formed in her eye mumbling under her breath about how fast I was growing up and how much she missed when I fit comfortably in her lap. She was short and tiny, so much that sometimes she seemed fragile, like too harsh of wind might take her off her feet. I always knew when she arrived because she paraded around in a giant white fur coat. She wore her age proudly and came to support my family. 

She had a strong-willed personality and clashed heads with my little sister. I remember one specific time when she made my youngest sister clean up her mess, they both stared directly into each other's eyes refusing to move even a fraction of an inch. I saw the red heat rising to my grandma's eyes and stubborn glance of the two-year-old who looked back at her, chubby hands gripped to her hips.  Their deathly stare down lasted long enough for the bystanders to crouch in secondary fear, she was the only one brave enough to even think she could go against grandma and win. As we grew up, she kept her eye out for my sisters and me, making sure we were staying out of trouble and guiding us after mistakes. Though she was tough on us, she wanted what was best and had a sweet side. I knew I could count on her to help us survive the hot sticky days of the summers by lathering us up in sunscreen just to watch us leap over the shooting water of the sprinklers. After we dried off she made sure to give us all the plastic tube-popsicles we wanted until our faces and tongue were sticky and stained with a permanently red tint. After we were finished we sat contently on the couch prying our eyes open to stay awake after the sugar finally made us crash.

Some of my most dear memories are tied to the cross shape object I clutch on to now. This object is so important to me because of the role it plays in my life and the ways it has impacted the decisions I have made. The object I carry connects me not just to my grandma, but to all the lessons she taught me about strength and faith. Additionally, it serves as a reminder to be strong and not let anyone get in the way of achieving what you want. It helps me remember countless other statements she would tell me every time I saw her, hoping that at least one of them would stick and help me later in my life.  I cling to this object when I want to remember her or I am struggling and need extra strength that she can no longer provide for me. I still feel a void in my heart that she can no longer be there for me, but the figure helps me to know she is in a better place. In a way, she left me with a way to always reach her and share the connection we had even after she was gone.


The author's comments:

I wrote this piece about the struggles I went through after going through a heart-breaking loss and how I deal with that pain today.


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