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“Bang bang! Bro I got another one!” I yelled across the room at my brother who was dead set on completing the puzzle in which the pieces creating a B-17 bomber plane always proved too much for his young mind, all the while not daring to take my eyes off the television screen where my video game character had just scored 500 points killing a robot assassin.
“Sydney, Garrett! Do you want to go visit Nana before she moves?” our mom called to me and my 11 year old brother as she slung a thick orange jacket over her shoulder
“Nah, I’m good. Tell her I said hi.”
My grandma was currently living in a foster home. She was cursed with a rare form of Parkinson’s called PSP (Super Nuclear Palsy). She was a prisoner in her own body as it slowly shut down on her. I had not gone to see her much. I had been “too preoccupied” with my personal activities to have time to see her.
“Well alright sweetie, but soon you will have to come with me to see her.” I sadly twirled a silver ring covering the base of my left index finger, a ring that my grandma had given me a few weeks earlier.
“Got it mom.”
I continued to play my game. Winning a total of 2345 points before my dad called me.
“Hey Syd, The move is over, we’ll be coming back soon.” His voice sounded deep and grave, but I paid no attention to it.
“Alright sounds good, see you guys when you get home.”
The line gave a shrill beep as my dad hung up. I shrugged and walked slowly back to the couch.
Hours passed and finally my parents walked through the front door. Silently they walked passed me and my mother hung her small brown purse on the bronze hook hanging from the wall.
I still thought nothing of their behavior.
At nine o’ clock my mom yelled from the other room without looking up from the computer screen, “Time for bed guys!”
Begrudgingly my feet slid on the carpet towards the base of the stairs. My parents followed, turning off the lights as they moved across the room. When our four person family got to the top of the gray stairs, my brother and I instinctively began walking to the bathroom to brush our teeth, as was the normal routine. My mom gave me a questioning glace, and when I returned it with a happy smile, she realized that we were still oblivious.
“Sydney, did dad tell you what happened”
Now it was my turn to throw quizzical looks at my parents.
“No” My eye flicking between the two of them. “What’s going on mom?”
“… Sydney, Garrett… Nana died, shortly after she was moved. We did all we could to save her but she wanted to leave, and it’s probably for the best, she was in a lot of pain….”
Tears filled my eyes, threatening to spill over. I looked from my mom, to my dad, and also to my brother. Mom and dad quickly looked down in defeat, and my brother had the same face I did, the shock of knowing that the closest grandparent that we had was now gone, his face however was not as severe as mine. At that point I gave into tears, using my mom’s sleeve as a tissue, covering my eyes, just trying to hide from it all and pretend that my grandma was still okay, and laying in the bed of the foster home saying how much she loved us and that she’d always be there when things got gloomy.
For the first time in my life that wasn’t true. She wasn’t there. Not anymore.
Rubbing my hands together, I noticed the silver ring still grasped onto my left hand.
At this point in time, I’ve written three poems about that same ring, and many others about that experience.
My poems mean a lot to me, they are filled with my memories, and while memories can fade away, writing is harder to erase, that’s why I write.
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