A Different Light

I peered out of the window as we sped past the fluffy clouds. The island was beautiful. So lush and  green; the sea so clear and blue. I smiled thinking of my Grandmother. The last time I saw her I was only a toddler, and I’ve only seen pictures and heard stories about her. I couldn’t wait to see my Father’s childhood house that my Grandfather built. I couldn’t wait to meet my great tios and tias. I was so eager to explore the island I’ve only heard stories about and seen a few pictures of. But deep within all of this excitement, I was in distress. I was in Puerto Rico for the worst situation I could ever fathom; my Grandfather’s funeral.

The majority of my Dad’s elders live in Puerto Rico, including his parents. When my Dad first heard that my Grandfather was sick, he went down to the island immediately. He was there a few weeks before my Mom, Brother and I came down. I remember the day I heard the grave news like it was yesterday.

I had just walked into the front door of my family’s house and walked through our kitchen. My mom was sitting at the kitchen table with the laptop open and all the daily newspapers surrounding her. I was tired and my body ached, but I greeted her happily. She smiled and I went to my room to put my bookbag down. When I came back out, her mood shifted; the atmosphere changed in the room; my stomach lurched.

“I have to tell you something Isabella.” Those words hung heavily in the air. My body became stiff.

“What?” I asked her reluctantly, I didn’t want to hear what came after those words. She started to speak but my body couldn’t wait. My face scrunched up and tears started to fall from my eyes, down my cheeks. My mom said the words I never thought I would hear. I ran into my room, closed the door behind me and buried myself under my blankets. I fell asleep crying.

I was angry and in denial that my Grandfather passed. I didn’t want to believe this is was the result. No one in my family thought he was that sick, no one expected this was going to be the outcome. We all believed my Grandfather was strong enough to pull through this. The whole family was in shock and we didn’t understand why.

I never met my Grandfather at a time when I could remember; I was just a baby. Everyone in my family talked highly of my Grandfather. They would say he was funny, witty, and such a loving person. I have always wanted to meet my Grandfather and I’m sure he always wanted to meet his granddaughter when she was all grown up. But now I’ll never meet him. I’ll never get to hear his laugh or laugh at one of his jokes. I’ll never even get to hug my Grandfather. I was frustrated and I struggled with this thought for months after Puerto Rico. I would randomly burst into tears just thinking about never seeing my Grandfather. It even got to the point where I blamed my parents for not taking me to Puerto Rico sooner.

As the months went on, I began changing how I went about the situation. I didn’t resent my parents anymore, I didn’t have sudden mood swings, and I began to look at what happened in a different light. I thought more positively to help me cope with the circumstances. I believed that my Grandfather was in a better place. I know he wasn’t in anymore pain and that he wasn’t suffering. I also trusted that one day I was going to see him in a better place; he would be healthy and he would look better than he ever did before.

Do not get me wrong, I still do have those moments where I wish I had met my Grandfather. I do still get emotional when I think about him, but now I have faith that I will see him. It’s having my faith that keeps me going and helps me gets through the dark times in life.

Comments (1)

Sophia Paul (Student 2021)
Sophia Paul

This is a really great essay. I love all of the emotions within the essay. The reflection and backstory are very well written and all of the anecdotes really have great descriptive language to hit the reader in the feels. Great job. :)