www.whyville.net Mar 4, 2012 Weekly Issue

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In order to be a potentially great writer, you have to share your experiences with others. But what makes an extraordinary piece? What truly makes a reader sit back and relate? You have to get personal, and I am going to do just that; share an experience that has personally affected my life.

There was this girl that brightened up my day with her enchanting smile. She was not someone that you can just be friends with, but fall in love with her all together. With her, you would always love, and never reject, neglect or push away. She didn't seem like a normal girl. When I saw her walk through that grade nine-classroom door, I knew she was different; and I don't mean internally different. If you saw her for the first time, there no doubt you would double take. Physically, she was very small and couldn't walk far distances without her walker. I learned later that she had a large amount of arthritis running through her body. There was always something so outstanding about this girl. It was like she had this light that wrapped around her soul, her name was Vanessa. I thought the arthritis was the only thing Vanessa had, but I was in for a rude awakening.

In my senior year of high school, I remember Vanessa was absent for about a week. That week turned into two weeks, then three. Soon the number of absences totaled to an entire semester, six months. I had no idea what was going on. I remember one day I finally decided to ask someone. My friend that was close with Vanessa told me something that I couldn't bare to hear. That day is still very clear in my mind. The words seemed like they rolled off her tongue at microscopic speed. Then I was hit with a sudden rush of cold air. Vanessa had cancer. Cancer has a reputation for being the leading cause of death for Canadians in 2008, according to Statistics Canada. I began to hope every single day and prayed that she would hang on, but it seems I missed a day.

Friday, May 14, 2010 was when she finally passed on. I began to get that feeling again, the feeling of that sudden rush of cold air. My heart felt so black, and my insides began to melt away. At first nothing seemed true, everything in this world came bearing with unfortunate disasters. I remember breaking down, and my mind was taken over by my emotions. How can this happen, why would someone take such an innocent person out of this world. It was as if I was being punished. I began to plan things, bad things that a teenager should never be thinking of. I went to the best place where I could be alone, behind our school. In my sight was a train track that was one of the loading stations for the trains. I remember writing down 9:40am train, as it passed by. I needed to mark down the second I believed that I didn't want to live anymore. Ironically, my emotions hit me hard like a train.

I've always known that losing someone can be very difficult. It is only when you experience it for yourself that you realize it is much more than just difficult. What we learn is that experiences like this help us become stronger, and face reality with a brave front. Vanessa was an amazing person, and her outreaching legacy will be with us forever. After her passing, it was all about the people who thought they were closest to her. It all became a competition as to who knew her more, or who had more pictures with her. I wasn't one of Vanessa's best friends but I knew in my heart that she had made an unexpected impact in my life. In the end, it's not about who was closest to Vanessa, but the overall impact she had on all of us. All I know is that she was loved, and Vanessa showed nothing but compassion. I think about her all the time, and her time on Earth inspires me to live every moment making the same impact she had. Vanessa will be remembered as a person who always said, "I can and I will." Simple words can unanimously create an anthem for life. She is not gone, rather is alive in the form of a heartbeat. Vanessa, you will never be forgotten.

Author's Note: Sometimes it is hard to express yourself freely in fear of getting critiqued. It's all about the personal story that you are brave enough to share.


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