It’s November 2nd at 7:00am, eastern standard time. I have received the worst news of my life. I had lost my best friend, my mother and father figure, my grandfather…to a massive heart attack. The moment my Mom said the words, “They did everything they could.” I threw myself into her arms, and sobbed hysterically into her ear. From that moment on, I have felt misery. I have felt…like i’m stuck in this nightmare, and I can’t wake up!! If only I prayed to God…and asked him to let my grandfather stay with me. If only I had taken better care of him.
Inside Don’s home, he sits in his living room in his recliner, as he gets ready is take Haylee to her first Halloween party. Haylee walks in the living room and puts on her Halloween mask. “Are you ready?” Don says. “Yeah!” Haylee says filled with excitement. “I’m waitin’ on you!” “Well, just give me a minute.” Don puts his hand on his chest as he gets up, then leans on his walker for support. Haylee waits patiently for Don. “Can you hand me my jacket?” Don asks politely. Haylee grabs Don’s jacket and gives it to him. As Don puts on his jacket and then turns off the TV. “Okay, let’s go.” Don leaves the house with Haylee, using his cane, and puts his hand on his chest as he walks.
Haylee walks out the door and gets in the car, but Don can only take two steps at a time, while holding onto his chest each time. Haylee just stares at him because she is unsure of what to do, however, she is feeling concerned for her grandfather’s health status. Suddenly, Don leans over the hood of the car and yells for Haylee “HAYLEE!! GO GET YOUR MOTHER!! HURRY!!” Haylee gets out of the car, and briskly runs into the house and finds her family sitting in one room. She screams, “PAPA’S HAVING A HEART ATTACK!!!!” Her brother Jaime, and her mother Tina run out of the room, as well as Haylee. Her sister Maegan calls 911, while Haylee, Tina & Jaime run out of the house to help Don.
Tina grabs a chair off the front porch for Don to sit on but Haylee stands on the front porch, having a panic attack. Maegan comes out of the house with Don’s walker. “Uh, yeah my grandfather’s having a heart attack…” she says as she begins to conversate with the police. Don sits on the chair, feeling more relaxed. Jaime is screaming out of anger and disbelief. “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE WAITIN’ ON?!?!” “I’m still on the phone with them, giving them information!!” Maegan says. Jaime runs his fingers through his hair, feeling agitated. “WELL, TELL THEM TO HURRY UP!!!”
Haylee can’t help but continue to cry, as her anxiety accelerates through her body more and more. Jaime speaks to her and asks “Haylee, do you still want to go the party?” She is unable to answer him. “Hellooooo???” Tina tells Jaime that Haylee is upset, and he walks into the house. Tina walks on the porch and tries to comfort Haylee. “It’s okay. He’s going to be fine.” Tina walks into the house, and Haylee begins to calm down. She then takes off her Halloween mask.”The paramedics are on their way.” Maegan says. “They need to hurry. I’m scared.” Haylee says, feeling exhausted.
The paramedics and firemen asked questions like “How old are you?” “Is this your first heart attack?” “How would you describe your pain right now?” etcetera. Papa felt fine some time after he sat down, however, after the paramedics asked him to walk up to the porch, he started to feel the aches and burns in his chest again. So, he was rushed to the Hospital while my brother took me to my friend’s party. I enjoyed being there. I really did. I got to see some of my friends and spend time with them, but I could not stop worrying about my grandfather.
It’s 3:00p.m. Don sits in his recliner, with oxygen tubes in his nose. Haylee opens the door after coming home from school. “You’re home!” She says ecstatically. Don speaks in an indifferent tone. “Yeah…finally. I hated being in that Hospital.” He says as he adjusts his tubes in his nose. “So, you have to use oxygen now?” Haylee asks him. “Yeah, only when I really need to though. You woke me up!” Don says as he puts a cigarette in his mouth and lights it. “I’m sorry, I was just really happy to see you.” Haylee chuckles. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, I mean…I’m feeling pretty good.” He says.
I really thought Papa was doing better, but after Mom told me about what happened today at the Doctor’s office, I got worried again. More than one doctor was persistent. They told my grandfather over and over. “You need to go to the Hospital.” “You need to go to the emergency room.” But he wouldn’t listen. He was tired of being in that Hospital room. He didn’t want to go back. Later that evening, it was time for dinner, and he was craving chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy. “Dinner’s ready! Do you want me to make you a plate, Dad?” Tina shouts from the kitchen. “Yeah.” Everyone goes to the kitchen makes themselves a plate. After Maegan is done making her plate, she sits on the couch talking to Don. “You need to go to the Hospital.” she says. Stubbornly, Don says “You need to go to the Hospital!”
No one could get him to listen. After almost everyone is asleep, Maegan helps Don get ready for bed. “I actually think you might have to take me to the Hospital tomorrow.” he says. “Okay.” Maegan says. “Can you turn down my oxygen to 2?” Don politely asks her. Maegan turns down his oxygen, and Don thanks her. After Maegan asks him if there is anything else he needs, he says no, she leaves to go to bed. It’s 2:00a.m. and Don calls for Tina multiple times while everyone is asleep. “Tina?” Don says. “Tina?” he says again, which wakes Haylee up. “Tina?” Haylee walks out of her bedroom and finds Don leaning over his wooden table, and resting his hand on his head.
“Alright she’s not coming. What do you need?” “Can you turn up my oxygen?” he asks, feeling out of breath. Haylee tries to figure out how to turn up his oxygen, but is unable to figure it out. Don continues to struggle with his breathing. Haylee looks at Don and notices his color leaving his face. “A-Are you okay?” she asks, stuttering. “D-Do you want me to go get Mom?” Don cannot speak. “I’ll go get Mom!” During this time, Tina is awake and she tries to help Don breathe properly again. She checked his pulse, turned up his oxygen, and even asked him if she needed to call an ambulance. Haylee had to stay in her bedroom, so she wouldn’t be scarred.
I couldn’t sleep. Not with all this going on. Some time later, my Mom walked to my sister’s room and woke her up, and told her to call an ambulance, and that they’re taking Papa to the Hospital. Maegan did call, and by the time they arrived, Papa was having a massive heart attack in his chair. I could hear the paramedics talking and asking questions, and sometimes I could hear Mom yelling. But then…I heard her yell “Dad!” loudly and something knocked over. Then I heard Maegan crying, saying that every time Papa leaned back and his eyes closed, he looked like he was already dead. …I started crying, and I was so anxious about everything. I didn’t want to sleep. I just wanted everything to be okay. I wanted Papa to be okay.
It is 7:00am and the phone rings. Haylee checks the caller ID and it says it’s Papa, but it was actually her mother. She answers the phone. “Yeah?!” “Uh…you don’t have to go to school today.” Tina says. “But i’m already dressed. I mean… i-it’s fine.” Haylee says, feeling uncomfortable. “You don’t have to go. I’m on my way home now.” “Okay. Love you.” Haylee says. “I love you. Bye.” The conversation ends, and not too long after, Tina comes home and walks into Haylee’s room. “So, how is he?” Haylee asks. Tina sits down on Haylee’s bed, and speaks as her voice breaks. “They did everything they could.” Haylee could not believe her ears. “HE’S DEAD?!” She screams and they both fall on their sides on the bed.
“HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND!!!” Haylee continues to scream and cry. Maegan comes into the room, and Haylee gets up and hugs her. “I’m so sorry.” she sniffles. “I know that this question is personal but, do you happen to know where his information is? Like, a Will or something?” Tina asks Haylee. “No. I would assume that the stuff is in his files.” she says. Tina and Maegan walk out of the room and Haylee puts on her necklace that Don gave her, as a christmas present. “Rest in Peace, Papa! I love you.” She says, with a broken heart.
Jeffersonville High School, 2019