I remember this day as if it was yesterday. I was in the sixth grade, and it was a half of day of school. I did not go that day because I was feeling sick. My mom went to work, and I was home with my auntie. My auntie was not feeling well the day before and was acting weird. I remember her talking to herself and being dizzy. All the other children went to school, so it was just us two at the house. A day I thought was going to be any normal day turned out to change my life.
I remember waking up at home and going to eat breakfast downstairs. Then my mom called and told me to go check on my auntie. I headed upstairs and knocked on the door with no response, so I went inside. As I walked into the room, I smelled an unpleasant odor. It smelled liked a piece of rotting meat over which someone had sprinkled a few drops of some cheap perfume. I went up to the bed and saw my auntie as white as a ghost. I pushed her a couple of times and called her name, but there was no response. At the time I did not know what was going on through my mind. I went to the phone and called my mom; no one picked up, so I called the first number I could remember, which was the number of my aunt who lived around the corner. She picked up the phone and was wondering what I was doing home. “You’re supposed to be at school,” she said. I told her I was sick and then I told her that Grandma Pam was not waking up when I shook her. It was like I heard her breath stop through the phone. She said “Ok go start calling people, and I’ll be over.” I started to call as many family members as I could and told everybody that something was wrong with Grandma Pam. Everybody called Auntie Pam Grandma Pam because she had a lot of grandchildren. My auntie showed uo to the house and asked where Pam was. I told her in her room. She went upstairs and told me to stay down here and wait for the ambulance to arrive. As I waited downstairs, I could not shake the feeling that something bad happened. Some of my family members showed up before the ambulance did and went upstairs. I saw people coming back down the stairs crying. I really did not know why though, so the ambulance pulled up to the house and asked everybody to go outside. The whole family went outside and everybody was there except my mom and the other children who were at school. While everybody was trying to call my mom, the school bus arrived.
The students on the bus had the perfect picture of our house. The ambulance was there, fire trucks, police, and the entire family. The other grandchildren were walking off the bus and started running up to the house asking everybody what was happening. The moment I saw all of the grandchildren start to cry was the moment I realized what was going on. I was so in shock, and I had never seen anything like this before except for in the movies. I remember everybody crying enough tears to form what seemed like a lake. The paramedic came back out and confirmed to everybody that she was dead. My mom (Pam’s sister) was the only one who did not know about Pam’s death. She was still at work, and nobody could reach her. Finally someone reached my mom and told her that her sister was dead; my mom and Grandma Pam were close sisters who did a lot of activities together.
I remembered when my mom pulled up; all I could see on her face was sadness. She walked up to her brother and other sister and hugged them both. My mom was one of four children. She was the youngest daughter and the strongest out of the four. I saw my mom break down for the first time in my life. I did not know what to do but cry. No child likes seeing his/her mother in pain. My mom asked the paramedic if she could go upstairs to see her. Mom was up there for a long time; I was just wondering what she could have been doing. She came back outside and was still trying to tough the situation out because that is how my mother was, but she just could not do it. The fire department let everybody go up and see her, and then they started to take her outside where everybody was. When they came outside with Grandma Pam, it was like a tsunami had accrued. Tears were everywhere.
As the day went on, more and more people could not believe that she was gone. I remember my mom telling her brother and sister that she kept having these nightmares about Pam. My mom went into a depressed mode. The house that Pam died in was one we had lived in for fifteen years. My mom was so depressed that we had to move. She could not stand the fact that we were living in the house where her sister had died. The day we moved was a sad day for me because I loved that house. We had so many good memories in that house and some bad ones. My mom was almost done paying off the house, but I think she had a year left to pay on it. We moved, and my mom was still depressed, so I decided to play sports to try to ease the pain some. It worked. My mom slowly was forgetting about the sadness in her life and reaching out for the goodness of her life. She was so happy that I was doing sports. I then told myself that I would continue to do sports for my family and for my team. I have never done a sport for myself. Sports remind me of a time the day stood still for my family. That is why I will always continue to play sports till the day I die because I do not want to recall when the earth stopped spinning.
By Darion Simmons
I am a Division II football player.