Meg had an assignment at school, to write about the most memorable day. Sometime that she could recall as many details as possible from the day.
Here is what she wrote:
“It was a cold winter morning. The date being Wednesday, January 25th 2017. The only thing different about today is that I woke up a little earlier than usual, for what reason? I have no clue.
“See you later, I love you!” My dad would yell every morning as he was walking out of the front door to go to work. “Love you too!” I yelled back. I got ready for school, and walked to my friend Piper’s house to go to the bus. Just another day of sixth grade, right?
When we arrived at school, we did the usual. Put our backpacks into our cubbies, and did random school things. It was towards the end of the day, the last hour I would say, I was in Mrs. Tapko’s class for a lesson about bullying. Me and Willy were sticking the “kindness matters” pins into our shoes. It was when I was showing him how stick the pin into his thumb without it hurting when Mayelli exclaimed, “guys, Mary Tyler Moore is dead!’ and the room went silent. I don’t know what happened after that moment because I zoned into my own world and stopped paying attention to everything around me. At the time, I didn’t know why it hit me that hard about some random celebrity dying.
When the school day ended, I went to a mathletics party in the cafeteria. My mom texted me that my friend’s mom was picking me up after the party. But, as soon as she sent that message, Nichi arrived in the cafeteria to pick me up.
“The party just started!” I told her. “Yeah, but your mom told me to pick you up now,” She responded. Something seemed off about her. She couldn’t maintain eye contact the whole time, well, she could barely look at me at all. She drove me to my uncle Brady’s house, which made me caused even more confusion. “Why are we here?” I asked her. She didn’t answer my question, instead she just walked towards the house, me walking behind her. When we got to the door, I was the one that knocked. My aunt Katy opened the door, “I’m missing a mathletics party right now,” but I silenced myself when I saw Katy’s face. The whole vibe of the room felt different. I turned to my right to see the couches. There was my mom, and my dad’s brother Michael sitting there. See, that was another weird part. Michael at Brady’s house had never happened before, I thought they didn’t even know each other. Brady sat on the chair that was next to the couch. All of them look like they just cried. My mom motioned for me to come sit on the couch next to he. She pointed to the “kindness matters” pin on my shirt and said to me, “always remember that,”
I was sitting there, more confused than anything. Everyone in the room was giving me looks of pity and sadness. “What?” I asked them, getting quite irritated at the fact they were sitting there, not telling me anything. My uncle leaned across the table, “Megan,” he whispered. “Your dad..” I teared up at that exact moment. I knew something was off when Mayelli said something about Mary Tyler Moore dying. He didn’t even have to finish the sentence, I knew. My whole body went numb, I felt paralized. My ears started ringing, and my vision completely blurred. I got dizzy, and in that moment, I could not move. My dad had died.
A few hours passed by. Family came to the house to check in on us, and bring us food. Monday came by, and I didn’t go to school. My friend Triniti stayed home from school to stay with me that day.
On Friday, my cousin Jordan and I went to the mall to buy clothes for the life celebration. We were there for a few hours and tried to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.
The next weekend, we had the life celebration. One thing my dad never wanted, was a funeral. He hated them, and he didn’t want a group of people crying in a room together, he wanted them to remember the times they had together and to be happy about the memories, rather than crying about them. The event was okay, around 500 people showed up I think. I stayed on the upper level of the building the whole time. So many people were trying to hug me and start up conversations. After the death, my anxiety had spiked so everyone around me was making me dizzy, and I felt like I was going to pass out.
The next week, I went back to school. It was rough, but the teachers had allowed me to walk out of the room if I ever needed it. But just my luck, guess what we were doing the day I came back? A family tree. Or something like that, it was family related because Jordyn said something about her dad and I cried.
Then, when I was in Mrs. Tapko’s room for social studies, I got into an argument with a kid Rafael, I don’t know what it was about. But, I remember him saying “at least I have two parents,” Imagine, going back to school about two weeks after your father had just died, to hear that shit. Just put that into your head. After hearing that, I walked out of class.
To this day, I still have my moments, my “breakdowns” ya know? Sometimes I forget it even happened and I’m waiting for him to come home from work. Then I remember that, “oh he won’t.” It still hurts just as much as it did when it happened. I hide the pain with jokes. I will make jokes about parents dying. Is that messed up? Probably. Is it a coping mechanism for me? Probably. I don’t make jokes because I’m insensitive, because I’m not. I make them to make the situation feel not as bad. As I said, I still have my moments. Every year on January 25th, I relive those moments and think about them all over again. But it has gotten slightly better. That’s all.”