A Warm Hand
Jason Chu, Division 1, 6th grade #ws18e-s2d1

She offered her only working hand and I extended my hand. She enveloped it and instantly I felt the warmth in her palm. She looked much older than the grandma in my memory. Her heavy cheeks sagged down to her jowls; her eyes were lined with wrinkles; her hair white and uncombed. Eight-five and bedridden, she had been succumbing to time. Sometimes she forgot what she was talking about. Other times she repeated the same thing she just said. Her vision was just as bad. She would talk about something she saw but it was not actually there.

Nevertheless, the minute I entered her room, her cloudy eyes followed me everywhere. She gently called my name. There was not a second she took her eyes off me. She tried to strike a conversation and asked me a few similar questions, probably because she forgot what she just asked. I answered them plainly. Then there seemed to be nothing else to do. She could no longer play outside or take a walk with me like she used to do many years ago. The visit was not long.

A few days passed. One night my dad got a call from the nursing home. My parents and I rushed there with heavy hearts but it was too late. It struck me that I would never be able to see my grandma again. Guilt crept into me. My mind suddenly filled with things I would have done. Had I visited her often or stayed with her longer during the last visit, I could have told her a thousand things that I would not have another chance to say. I would have told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to our family. I would have reminded her of many things that she did for us. I wanted to thank her for feeding me and rocking me to sleep when I was a baby. And thank her for loving me as my grandma.

Sometimes we don’t want to visit our grandparents. We keep putting off visits because we have more interesting things to do. We think we can always see them another day or call them another time. When we see them, we get impatient with the questions they ask. They appear old and boring. But there may not be another time. Grandparents may leave us anytime without giving us a chance to say goodbye.

If I could turn back time, I would have spent all day in her room until we said goodbye to each other. I would have been holding that warm hand until her final moment.
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