(This is student work submitted as part of the Youth Voices collaborative project.)
by Izzy J., Woodstock Elementary School
Just like many other people, my grandma wears a mask. Everyone wears a mask at some point in their life, including myself. It’s not a real mask I’m talking about, like the kind you wear on Halloween to go trick or treating, but it’s a mask that covers you just the same. It’s hard to tell what’s going on inside a person when they have a mask on. Their emotions can be so different than what goes on the outside, and sometimes even the people you love most can not take that mask off. That, you have to do yourself.
Despite my sweating palms and the pit in my stomach, I was very excited to see my grandma. Sure, she had fallen, broken her foot, and pelvis, but she would still be the same, wouldn’t she? For the millionth time in my life, I stepped out of the entry hall and into the big kitchen at my grandparents’ house. Through all the years, the kitchen still hadn’t changed. I walked through it, trying my best to look confident, then stopped in my tracks. On the counter, there was something that had changed.There were lots and lots of little orange bottles. Medicine.
My eyes started to water up, although I didn’t really know why. I’ve always seen my grandmother in a certain way, kind of like my hero. She had always seemed so young to me, and maybe it hurt knowing that know she needed all this help.
“Isabel?” I heard from the other room. I quickly leaned back from the bottles, and put on a mask, trying to seem as cheerful as possible. But just as quickly as masks are put on, they can come off. I walked walked into the living room, which was right of the kitchen, and towards the white and green couch. Lying on the couch, was not, could not, be my grandma. This lady was smaller, had lots of dark gray hair, and a shiny black cane lying next to her.
She was smiling at me, but it was could see it was a little strained. I wanted her to take of her mask, because I knew that on the inside, she wasn’t feeling as good as she was showing on the outside.
“How are you feeling?” I asked suspiciously. I didn’t want her to cover up her feelings. I wanted her to tell me if she wasn’t feeling good, and her to know that its okay if she isn’t feeling good. “I’m feeling alright.” she said. I knew she had taken off her mask, or even just a corner of it, but that was enough for me. And I also knew, that even if my grandma hadn’t fallen, she would be still be different. She was still be getting older every day, and every moment I had with her I needed to hold tight.
“I’m glad.” I said. And I was.
My grandma is growing in every way, Just like a book, where the page numbers start out small, but get bigger and bigger, and then it ends. But when you read a book, you can always go back to it, reread it over and over again. You can remember all those small moments that matter. I know that’s the way its going to be with her.
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