I collapsed on the chair, crying harder than I've ever cried. Why did you have to go 3 days before my birthday? Couldn't your body take 3 more days? And before I knew it, you were gone, like the wind. I remembered when you told me you had cancer. I was 7 and I was scared and I cried and you comforted me. Now, at 12, those days seem like long ago. Now, it's been a year since your death, and you left me stranded, I know it wasn't your fault. But still, I feel like that, and not a day passes that I don't remember you. I miss you and tomorrow is your memorial. The 14th, it's a day I will never forget.
I came home from school, ready to show you a drawing I drew you in art class. I remembered looking at my mother, she was sobbing, and my father was comforting her quietly. Men I didn't know were walking around. They had someone on a bed, he was covered with a white sheet, and I didn't know who it was.
My mother told me, "Michelle, come here, honey." I walked awkwardly toward her, thinking I was the one who made her cry, in some way. She hugged me, and for some reason, that made me cry.
I was looking around, and I thought, 'Where's Grandpa? Why isn't he comforting mom?' Then it dawned on me, the man under the sheet was Gramps. I wanted to go under the sheet and hug him, one last time before he had to go. Finally, the men took him away, leaving us to mourn together.
My dad explained it to me, "Michelle, honey, your grandpa's . . ." He trailed off into his own thoughts, and I didn't want to hear the words. I covered my ears and ran. I locked myself in the closet for 2 hours until my mother came into the closet with me. I didn't understand, I didn't want to. I felt alone and betrayed that you would leave me like this. Mom explained to me, and I actually listened, waiting for an explanation for why Grandpa was gone.
Now, I understand, you were sick, you didn't want to leave, it was all because of your cancer, and I'm sure you didn't get cancer on purpose. I still think of you, I miss you; I miss how you would comfort me when I cried, or had a bad day at school. You brought me little surprises every Sunday, just so I had something to look forward to throughout the week. You and Grandma were my best friends, and after Grandma died, you were the only one left. So that left you as my only best friend. When I lost you, I freaked out for weeks, but I calmed down, and now I'm used to it. I miss you, a lot, more than you will ever know. I love you Gramps.
R.I.P. Gustavo Sixto, 1946-2010,