Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Forever With Me
By Krystal Folk
I woke up to my mother crying. My grandma had been sick and was in the hospital so I had been sleeping in my mom’s room for comfort. As I sat up, I saw the time. It read 3:15 am. I turned over to see my dad standing over my mom. This was weird because my parents have been divorced since I was very young.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” I asked as I saw my mom wasn’t in any condition to talk. He hesitated and then said, “Your grandmother is gone.”
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and I grew up living with my mom and my grandma. I thought my family situation was the best ever. Even though my parents were divorced, it was like I had three parents. My grandma would come into my room in the mornings to wake me up and get me ready for school. My mom would fix us breakfast and, after I was ready, all three of us would eat and then drive to school.
After school, grandma would come pick me up. I would tell her about my day and then ask about hers. When we got home, my mom would embrace me as soon as I walked through the door. Sometimes in the evenings, my dad, who came over on the big holidays and whenever else he could, would share our dinner, which consisted of meat, rice, corn or peas, and of course, corn bread. This routine never got boring to me.
When I was about ten, I noticed my mom’s walking was getting bad. Sometimes she would fall or needed to hold on to someone. Soon she started walking with a cane. I worried and would talk to my grandma about it. I never really got an answer to what was wrong, but I would always feel better after talking to my grandma.
Soon it was just grandma who would take me to school, though my mom would still get up to make us breakfast. My dad barely came by and the times he did, he and my mom argued about something, anything they could. During these times, my grandma would take me upstairs to watch a movie or take me to the store. Anything to get me away from the arguing.
My mom’s condition worsened and I finally found out why. She had MS. At the time I didn’t know anything about multiple sclerosis except that it was a bad thing to get since it stopped my mom from doing things with me. However, my grandma was always there to take me with her to Atlantic City, to the movies with my friends, to Kings Plaza to go shopping, to the hair salon, or just to get something to eat.
Evelyn Frye was my grandma, my second mother, and my protector. She was always there for me when I needed her. She helped me mature into the young woman I am today. When she died, I learned how to grow up. I realized that things don’t always go my way and that I have to live with that. I know that my family comes first since they will always be here for me. I now have the strength to help my mother as her condition worsens. I accept that my mom’s condition is not punishment and know how to be there for her when she needs my comfort.
Grandma gave me the will to know that no matter how hard it gets, I will be able to make it though any situation. I have overcome so much hardship by remembering her words and finding the power within to keep me going. She helped me become the person I am and I thank her for all she has and continues to give me.
Hearing my dad say that Grandma was gone, I didn’t know what to do, what to think. I sat up in the bed and didn’t say anything. I couldn’t believe she was really gone. I looked at my dad, then at my mom who was still crying.
I jumped out of bed and ran into the next room, Grandma’s room.
“No, no,” I kept thinking to myself. “It can’t be true, it can’t! I just saw her and she was fine! How could this have happened?”
My eyes we drawn to the dresser where I saw two framed pictures of my grandma. I picked them up, lay down on her bed, curled into a fetal position, and started to cry. I stayed there for a while and then I got up, still holding the pictures, and walked back into my mom’s room where my dad still was.
“Daddy it can’t be true. You said you would take care of her. She told me everything would be okay!” I said in between the gasps of air.
It was then my mom saw the picture in my hands and started crying harder. As if he knew the exact reason, my dad fought the picture out of my grip.
“No!” I screamed but he had already won. I then ran into my mother’s arms and we just sat there together until we cried ourselves to sleep.
Krystal Folk is a freshman at the University at Albany, SUNY, majoring in business. Another piece of her writing, "Buried Alive," appeared in MyStoryLives earlier this year.