Most people think nothing of getting close to someone. They just hang out with someone and one day find themselves closer than the first day they met. I wish I could be like that, but instead, I sit in my room alone scared of getting too close.
It’s not that I hate everyone and I don’t want to be close to anyone. It’s that I don’t want to lose them. From the time I was 10 until I was about 15, I lost 9 close family members. For a while, I couldn’t go more than 6 months without losing a family member. Whenever a family member died, it seemed like I had just started to get close and attached to them.
For the longest time, I did not want to get close to anyone because I was nervous that they would die. I believed I was cursed and that everyone I loved would die.
After a little, I somewhat got over that and started to get close to people without fear of them dying. This only caused me to develop another fear. It seemed as though most of my friends decided that I wasn’t good enough for them and would leave.
I know it’s a dumb fear I should get over and I am tryin,g that’s why I am writing it out.
When I was around six years old, I remember my parents slowly walking up to me in the morning and giving me a hug. They kneeled down beside me and said in a soft, slow, sad, and apologetic voice: “I’m sorry, honey. The raccoons got Mrs. Frizzel last night.”
I sobbed for hours. I was sad for days. I made my parents have a funeral. My tears fell to the ground as we buried my dead chicken. My parents bought a chick that I raised and loved, but I still missed Mrs. Frizzel.
When I was eight, Fluffy and Ginger passed away. My parents broke the news to me in the same way. I cried the same way as I had before. I got two more chicks.
When I was twelve, my parents again approached me with the same sad tone and told me that that a couple of our chickens died in their sleep. I didn’t cry as much when they died, partially because I was old enough to understand that everything dies of old age at some point. It was much more bearable. I would be sad, but not sobbing like I had done in the past.
Today, I came home and asked if he bought food at the store. He said no. Something happened, so he had to come home. “What I happened?” I asked.
“The neighbors dog got into our yard and into the chicken coop,” he said with a flat tone.
“You stopped right, the chickens are okay?”
“No,” he said. “They are dead, all but three are dead.” He said it with the same flat tone.
He just told me straight up, assuming I wouldn’t be sad. No soft, slow, sad, or apologetic voice. He patted my back and walked away.
I went outside. The corpses were gone. All that remained was feathers.
Eight year old me popped in to my mind. The funeral for Mrs. Frizzel. My parents stroking my back and telling me everything was going to be okay.
There would be no funeral, my dad had put their limp bodies in the trash before I came home. There would be no comfort from my parents. Fifteen year olds don’t cry when their chickens die.
I’m shouldn’t be sad. I’m too old to be sad. But, I’m sad.
I remembered holding the chickens when they were less than a week old. Moving them to the big coop when they were old enough. Hand-feeding them mealworms and celebrating the day that they laid their first egg.
I raised them. They are dead now.
If I was a child I would be sobbing in my parents arms. Now, I’m sobbing alone.
I know if I went to them they would comfort me, but there’s an age where you need to accept reality on your own.
Being treated like a child is now nonexistent. Just like my chickens.
When I was little, if I had a lot of homework, my parents would tell me I could do it and tell me I could have a cookie when I finished. Now, when I complain about my homework, they say lots of homework is part of growing up.
When I was little, my parents were by me at every moment to guide me through life. Now, I am old enough where I need to handle things on my own.
When I was younger, my parents could fix everything. They could make everything feel better. In their arms, I was safe.
Yes, the death of my chickens is part of the reason I’m crying. But, there’s more to the tears running down my cheek.
No matter how much I want to believe it, my parents can’t fix everything. As much as I want it to, they can’t hug me and make me not be sad. As desperately as I want to deny it, my parents can’t protect me anymore.
I don’t know why all of this came from a dog breaking into my chicken coop, but it did…
Rest in peace Lucky, Trouble, Darwin, Lemon, Pepper, Oreo, and Henry. I may not be a child anymore, but I still love you and miss you.
Loralee was born on April 28, 1970. Loralee died on June 3rd 1970.
My mom never met her sister; I never met my aunt. She spent her thirty-six days in a hospital. Loralee wasn’t born lucky.
Due to her cleft pallet, she was unable to swallow. The hospital put a tube down her throat to feed her. Instead of going into her esophagus, the tube was misplaced and put into her lungs. After a month and three days, her lungs were filled from the tube’s givings and she died from suffocation.
Loralee Myra French never came home. My mom never got to see her sister. My mother was less than two years old. I wonder what my grandmother told her. How could you explain that to an innocent child?
My mom learned the full story when she was older.
I learned the full story a week ago.
Recently, my great aunt died. I wasn’t close to her. She was an awful person. She put her son through absolute shit, abused my grandmother, and put my mom’s side of the family through living hell.
Even though she was a cruel human being, it hit me hard when she died. As bad as it sounds, it wasn’t hard for me because I cared about her a lot, it was harder for another reason.
As I’m getting older, death is so much more real. I understand it and am effected by it more and it takes place more in my life. There are so many people who are going to die in my lifetime: my parents, my grandparents, my kindergarten teacher, the owners of my favorite place in the world… There are so many people who have died in my lifetime: my grandfather, my aunt, my favorite artist, my dad’s best friend.
I’m still young, but I’m old enough to understand how abruptly life can end.
I was doing driver’s ed a couple days ago. I read a story about a man who got in a car crash and killed his best friend.
One mistake, one wrong turn, one bad decision, and your life could be done.
We all know we will die one day. It’s not “if;” it’s a “when?”
When am I going to die? When are you going to die? It’s inevitable, unescapable, and, in my opinion, scary. So scary.
On the news, I read about a girl who traveled in Costa Rica, met a man at an Airbnb, and went missing. Later, she was found dead.
One misgiving of trust, one ignorant move, one second of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you could be found lifeless too.
And, then, there’s so many undeserving people who die cruel, miserable deaths. Cancer, suffering, abuse, rape. So many innocent people whose lives get taken away. Just like the young rape victim who was found dead in a suitcase behind a dumpster, just like orphan who starved to death, just like the 13,000 people who died in shootings this year, just like the young baby who only got to spend thirty six days on this earth; my aunt Loralee Mya French.
It’s been seven years since you’ve passed and it still doesn’t feel real.
This past year has been one of the hardest years without you. I had my first love and first heartbreak.
The only person I wanted after that heartbreak was you, but you weren’t here. I needed you to be here, I needed your advice, I had no clue what to do.
I have no father figure to lead me and I am just starting to become a woman, I need your advice.
In just under two months, I am going to be 18 and you won’t be there.
You won’t be there for anything. We won’t have a father-daughter dance, you won’t walk me down the aisle, you won’t watch me graduate, and you won’t watch me grow up. I will never know if you are proud of who I am becoming.
I know I shouldn’t be mad at you, but it gets hard sometimes.
I know it wasn’t your fault.
It was fated.
I need to let fate take over now. You must have left me for a reason.
I am stronger than I could have ever imagined me to be by this age. I know how to fend for myself. I know I can make it through anything now. I know you would be proud of who I am becoming and that is all that matters.
The night was pitch black. The minimal stars sitting up high in the sky only served as a reminder that we were still in the universe, and the distant street lights and sounds of passing cars were muted while walking across the field.
The grass was cold against my bare feet, and I held the neon pink glow stick inside my shaking hand as every single memory of my fifth and sixth grade years came back to me.
I wasn’t the only one there who had these memories rush into my head. Everyone who had cracked open the glow-stick had something about cancer to remember.
The whole field was silent. The occasional sniffle could be heard, and the tear stained cheeks were inevitable to avoid the longer you walked in silence.
The longer I walked, the more memories rushed into my head, and the more memories eventually made me break down.
I never enjoyed crying in front of people, and normally I don’t. I cry alone, because I’ve always hated crying in front of people and feeling pitied for my tears. But I was surrounded by so many people, and when I knew I wasn’t the only one crying, I didn’t hold the tears back anymore.
I never had cancer, but the speaker last night was right. In a way, when a loved one gets cancer, it consumes you too. It affects you too. It takes up your mind and heart. My father got cancer, and it killed a part of me too when it killed him.
Cancer is the deadliest weapon of all.
It’s the cause of the pang in your heart when you first find out they were diagnosed.
It’s the weeks spent in hospital waiting room during examinations and testing.
Then there’s the news that the cancer is gone. You think they’re finally safe, until the cancer fights back, and it comes back worse and worse, until it eventually takes over and kills.
It’s weeks of watching the life in the eyes of your friends or family fade away. When they go from being healthy, lively souls, to being trapped in their beds with no energy to get out.
It’s the fight that soon becomes too hard to keep continuing.
The consequence of cancer isn’t always death, but it’s the long suffering before it.
Not every cancer story ends with a cure.
Not every cancer story ends in a peaceful death.
In fact, most of them don’t. The cancer eats up everything. It eats up their health, and their happiness, and their motivation until all there is left is remnants of hope and loved ones close trying to help continue the fight for them.
But that was what the walk was for. We were fighting for those who couldn’t fight anymore. I was fighting for my dad who was hoping for a cure, and didn’t get one. Who didn’t win the fight. Every year I walk with survivors, caretakers, and friends to continue the fight, so that one day, the war against cancer will finally be won.