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 I Am [part 3]

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 7216
Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:23 pm
Last part...

I just couldn’t understand why they were avoiding me so profusely. I would say, “Hey!” and they would kind of nod and look away. I’d ask what show they were watching and they’d look up and down my body dubiously and look away. I’d tell them I liked their matching friendship necklaces and at that they’d look away… mainly, they just looked away.

It’s funny how much your view on life can be changed within a day, or even just a few minutes. On the way out of the nursing home, I glanced into a mirror, out of pure reflex. I had on dark wash skinny jeans, black ballet flats, a tight fitting white t-shirt, and a black vest, all splotched with tears. My hair was short and sticking out in every which direction, still growing back from the chop job I’d been forced to get for a theatre production I played a boy in a few months earlier. I had on a ton of jewelry and makeup.

That morning, I had thought I looked trendy and edgy and cute. At that moment, I thought that I couldn’t look any more self-absorbed. Or any less like myself.

I learned a lot of lessons from my great grandmother. She was always helping others over herself, and always had a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on waiting whenever anyone needed it, whether it was me or my mother or someone else. She always had this twinkle in her eye that made her look like everything she said was a secret and a great adventure waiting to happen.

She gave me one last lesson in that meeting with the two little girls… for someone who has always held on for too long, I had really let myself go. I had lost myself in trying to be just like everyone else. Sure, my friends thought I looked cool, but I didn’t. I didn’t look like myself. I didn’t look like who I wanted to be. She reminded me who I was, who I used to be, and who I wanted to become.

The next day was spent cleaning out Grandma’s apartment. At one point, my dad told me to take a purse he had found in the kitchen into her bedroom closet so that it could be boxed up with the rest of her bags. The moment I walked into the cluttered closet, it was like I was alone with my great grandmother again. Of the entire apartment, it was the only place that entirely smelled of her still. I buried myself among her coats and blouses, and the fabric blocked out the sounds of the rest of my family. In that moment, I realized that Grandma had done just as she had promised… she had told me goodbye.

The last time I had seen her, when I read her a poem I had written that day. There was a certain finality about our visit; about looking out the window at the courtyard below, everything still frozen in wintery mush. “Bye, Grandma.” Mom had said, awakening me from my daydreams, staring out that window as I had done at least twenty times before during the short period of time Great Grandma was in the nursing home. “Diana, it’s time to go.” Mom had turned to me.

I walked over to Grandma, knelt down so that I was just in sight of her, lying on her side in bed. “Bye, Grandma.” I had said. “I love you.”

“I love you,” she had whispered, her voice raspy and tired. She planted a wet kiss on my cheek… I couldn’t remember a single time in years that Grandma had kissed me. I didn’t want to let go of her. Both of us knew in that moment that we were saying goodbye.

When I stepped out and away from her shirts, letting the smell fade from my nostrils, I went back out into the living room, where everyone else was, to continue packing up everything my great grandmother owned. There was a mirror there, and I stopped for a moment to take in my reflection. My hair was still spiky and short, but I had managed to get some of it into a ponytail. My makeup was light; minimal. I had on an old pair of straight-legged jeans, Converse, and a grey sweatshirt that said I Love Dance.

Who I saw in that mirror was that same little girl I had been when I was nine or ten, staying over at Grandma’s house in Florida, back before she moved up to be with us in Michigan. The little girl who ate way too much Kraft macaroni and cheese, loved the Dumbo ride at Disney World, and thought the most entertaining thing in the world was to try and catch those little lizards that are everywhere you look in Orlando. I was the little girl who wanted to be wanted, but wanted to be herself even more, and still believed in miracles. I was just a little bit older, a little bit sadder, and a little bit stronger.

The great thing about my great grandma was that she always accepted me and everyone else, no matter whom we were and how we acted. She always knew who we were on the inside… deep down.

Some adults go and try to change you when they see you branching off onto the wrong path. My great grandmother let me make my own mistakes, and guided me in the right direction by doing so. She supported me in anything I did, and was there to catch me if I fell. She wasn’t the person I went to straightaway, but she was always there, cheering me on at the end of the day. She was someone I could trust and always count on.

Out of everything I got from Grandma’s apartment, a 2000 special edition Beanie Baby was my greatest treasure. It smells like her; it reminds me of her. It reminds me who I want to be, and who I’ve promised, since that life-changing moment, to become.




"Today is everything."

 Re: I Am [part 3]

Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:23 pm
Posts: 315
Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:43 pm
That was absolutley fabulous, Cavy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVED it!!!

 Re: I Am [part 3]

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:22 pm
Posts: 3690
Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:43 pm
 Amazing...simply breath-taking.
 Still sorry bout this, cavy...Hope you feel better!
             Everyone deserves to cry (even cavy)
             1 day of school left
              No finals

 Re: I Am [part 3]

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 478
Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:56 pm
Overall, this is a great ending to your memoir. As with the other installments, the best bits of it are the narrative - dialogue, description, etc.

You haven't made quite clear why the young girls won't look at you. You seem to suggest that it has to do with the difference between your past and present selves, but not exactly why that bothers the girls. Are they intimidated by your trendy look? Do they see through what you eventually realize is fake?

Also, while you spend a bit of time describing your new appearance vs. your old one and some things you admired about your grandmother that make you want to be the same way, you could be a bit more specific about what about your old self is going to change as a result of this event. It would be probably be good to develop this theme throughout all three parts by characterizing yourself as that "new you" in the earlier parts. You've done a great job of developing other themes all throughout the memoir, but since your title is "I am," this theme of your own changing personality seems one of the most important. It would help tie the whole thing together even more.

Great memoir - poignant memory well told.


 Re: I Am [part 3]

Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:21 pm
Posts: 615
Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:18 pm
That was awesome! You'rea great writer and it was one of the best memiors(sp?) i've ever read!

Hp luver to the max, 
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We miss u Crazynachos!
I gotta get back to Hogwarts!
"Tell me somthin' I don't know!" ~Selena Gomez
~Albus Dumbledore
If you want peace post this to your signoff and *Clap!*

Message Edited by Write_It_Moderator on 09-13-2010 06:55 PM

 Re: I Am [part 3]

Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 6322
Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:17 pm


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