Updated: Apr 30
by Destiny Jackson - Raymer Elementary, Eighth Grade
Originally published in Springboard Teen Literary Journal's May 2018 print issue
I was raised by my granny. It was me, my two brothers, and my two sisters, all in one house. My mom was around, but she didn’t have custody of us, and my dad was in jail.
These are some things I remember.
I remember going to the mall to help her pick out an outfit for her birthday. We found her a pink one that she wanted. Then we went to our favorite ice cream place. She got strawberry and I got vanilla.
I remember sitting together on the couch at home, watching our favorite movie: Love and Basketball.
It wasn’t always easy between us, though. She could lose her temper, and I would usually be the one to make her lose it. There was a time when I got real mad and disrespectful with her. We had a disagreement about something that happened in school that day which had gotten me into trouble. I told my granny to shut up and stop talking to me and I regretted it immediately, but I couldn’t take it back. To this day, I still regret it.
Then one day she had a doctor’s appointment. I was at school. When I came home, she told me to sit down because she had to talk to me about something important. I was nervous because she had been sick. She told me she had cancer. It broke my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get it out of my head.
She went to doctors’ appointments every week after that. I went to most of them with her.
Then one night she couldn’t breathe. I was at my friend’s house. My auntie and older sister called me. An ambulance took her to The Toledo Hospital, and I met them there. They put her on a ventilator to help her breathe. She motioned me to her bedside.
She gave me her rings and held my hand and I kissed her forehead. Then she died.
I remember feeling empty. All I could do was cry.