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Learning to cope

Losing a loved one or even being close to losing a loved one is like having the whole universe crumble down on your feet, like having a rug swept from under you. As human beings, we make plans for the day or even make plans ahead of time, and do not think twice about how those plans can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Never did it cross my mind the fact that someday I could probably lose the person who I grew so close to. Never thought much about it, until shockingly one day my family and I received terrible news. As a person, it is amazing how we take life for granted. The catastrophe never goes away, we just learn how to cope with it and keep moving forward.

It was a Friday morning, I was in school and my mom had been working. As the hours passed by, which felt like an eternity, the time to finally go home arrives. Excited, I packed my things and went on to the bus, waiting for the bus to take off and start heading home. All students have finally gotten on the bus and it was time to leave school, as the bus driver had already dropped some students off, my turn came along, it was my turn to finally get off the bus and enter my house. As I am entering the house, I see my mother sitting down in the mini-living room area at the table, crying telling herself “I have to go, I have to go… I cannot stay here”. I approached my mother and asked her what was wrong, my mom devasted trying her best not to lose her mind and try to explain to me what had happened. She finally got herself together and the strength to tell me that sadly my grandmother had been hospitalized because of a stroke. In that moment, I felt like the whole world just came tumbling down, my grandmother lives in El Salvador, since a little girl I would always be excited to know that my parents have planned a trip to go to El Salvador. The enthusiasm that I felt was unexplainable. My grandma and I had an inseparable bond, everywhere she went I would be right behind her. She was my rock, even until this day she keeps being my support, always giving me advice and telling me my right from wrong.

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My mom kept saying “GOD WHY? NO GOD.” I felt as if I was paralyzed, I felt that if I pinched myself everything will go away, and I would snap back into reality. I was in blank, not wanting to accept it, I had no reaction and I wanted to deny everything, all of it. I could not believe that the person who I grew so close to had been in danger. I kept saying to myself, that it is just a lie or perhaps just a joke, but I started realizing who could be so sick to lie to us about something so serious, and I came into realization that my grandmother was hospitalized. I felt my mother hugging me and said to me that she loved me and that everything will be fine. I had never seen my mom cry, never had I seen her in that state of mind. As soon as I felt my mothers’ arms wrap around me, I broke down, I could not hold it in anymore. I screamed “Why my grandma, why the person that I love the most in this world has to be the one in pain” and started to cry uncontrollably. The first thing that I wanted to do, was to book our flight tickets and to El Salvador as quick as we can, but I started thinking about school and realized that I could not travel at that point in school. The realization that I would probably never see my grandmother again stuck to me. after I got myself together and under control, I booked my mom the next flight that I could find to San Salvador. My mom packed her bags and headed to the airport.

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I come from a big dysfunctional family with many uncles, aunts and cousins. Never did I grow up in a close relationship family, the only person who I truly considered my family was my grandma. As I sat down by myself in my room, flashbacks of my grandmother and I came to mind. The many great memories that we established every single time I would go visit her. A specific memory came to mind, which triggered me and made me brake down into tears. I was physically and mentally broken. Hours passed by and my mother called me to tell me that she had arrived at the airport in El Salvador, I told her that as soon as she arrived at the hospital to call me and notice me of anything new. I then received a call from my mom the next day, and all she had was nothing but bad news for me. As I already knew, my grandmother suffered of a stroke on the left side of her brain. Part of her body became numb, she had difficulty communicating with us, difficulty walking, and the loss of coordination on one side of her body. Days turned into months and months turned into years. Now in day, my grandma has spent almost 4 years laid in a bed without the ability to talk or walk.

Never had I felt the feeling of being close to loosing a loved one. It is still hard to live with the fact that at any time, at any unexpected time my grandmother could leave my side. Every day I pray for her wellbeing and health. She is a strong woman and always looked at the bright side even in the most horrible moments. Never will you see her with a frown on her face, always smiling at the world no matter what happened. This experience in my life has made me realized not to take life for granted. We never know what the next day can bring us, whether is finding the love of your life or something devastating. Life is too short, and you have to live it to the fullest because some people are not able to do it. It has taught me to look at life in an optimistic way and to look on the bright side. Remember that you are not alone, and sometimes rough situations will cross your road but that should not make you weaker but on the contrary it should make you stronger.

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