I miss you, Ma.
(Queens, New York, USA)
August 18th, 2014. I wake up and get ready for work. As I dress, I check in on my grandmother. She was sleeping. I gently stroked her foot and she woke. "I'm thirsty." She spoke. She had been nearing her last days for a month now. I gave her a cup of water and she drank. She had to use a straw. Slowly, she sat up and turned to sit off of the bed. The whole time, all I said in my head was why are you still sick? Why is this still happening? She was hard of hearing so I had to be really loud when speaking with her, almost like yelling. I asked if she was okay, did she need anything? She needed to use her commode and so I helped her. This is what I'll never forget. I am a 22 year old man and have always been impatient and hated people who got things for which they didn't work. She had always tell me to be patient and that God has his plan. Anyway, as I was helping her, I noticed I was going to be late for work. My lack of patience emerged and frustration began to come over me. I was telling her hurry up, I have to go. While this was happening, she had no response and inched very slowly. Shortly, my aunt, who lives with me and my sister, came to take over for me. She told me not to yell at her. I walked away and went to work.
On my way, my mother called me saying that she was at my house and to come home quickly because my grandmother's heart stopped and the EMS were trying to resuscitate her. They succeeded and took her to the hospital. I ended up meeting with my uncle, the only one in our family with a car, and we drove to the hospital. There, she died. Four doctors all trying to save her. Pressing on her chest continuously. Her brittle bones surely already broken. We all stayed the night saying our sorrys and goodbyes.
A week later, the three day wake was over and she was cremated. We could not bury her because we could not afford it. In the Philippines, where we are from, when someone dies, people have a nine day wake and bury the dead on the ninth day. My grandmother's ninth day was her birthday. That day we celebrated her birthday and released white balloons for her. Everybody in the family finally got along well. No more problems.
September 8th, 2014. I'm at work typing this. I still don't know what I'm doing. I've accepted her death. I believe she is in heaven. I know she is happy. I told everybody in my family that we should be happy, too, because that is what she wanted. I'm writing this because I want to say a few things. That day she died, in the morning when I was impatient with her because I would be late for work, I arrived at work 10 minutes early. I was early for work. My own stupidity and impatience caused the last moment I shared with my grandmother to be horrible. I was so ungrateful for the time we should've shared. I could've just hugged her and told her that I loved her, but instead I was mad. I will never be able to forgive myself for it. I know she has forgiven me, but I can't. I'm sorry. Now, I think about her and all I remember are the times when she was sick. I can't even remember the good times. She raised me, my sister, and my cousin. I was the youngest. In our last moment, I didn't show my love.
I don't know what the future holds. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. All I know is today. Today, I remember her smile. Today, I miss her. Today, life has to go on. I am sure you are in heaven. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. I just hope I'm worthy enough to see you again when my times comes, if only just for a second. I love you and I miss you. Tomorrow, I will be missing you still.