A girl diagnosed with severe leukemia gives her insight on her generation as her days come to an end.



Life is full of bumps. You’ll get your bumps and you’ll get your bruises. All through our lives we are told to not do certain things. We are warned of the pain we could ensue if we don’t listen. As a child I was not one to listen. I lived my life like I was untouchable, nothing could bring me down. Harsh reality would soon kick in.

When I was six, my summer consisted of riding my scooter up and down the steep hill by my house. Everyday my papa would tell me to strap on my helmet and be sure to put my knee pads on. And every day I would. Until one particularly warm July afternoon. All the neighborhood kids were out playing catch and riding bikes.

“You’re such a baby!” one boy taunted me. “You can’t even ride a scooter without padding from head to toe!”

I realize that those simple sentences were no reason for me to disobey my papa, but at the age of six those words were like wrecking balls. I stripped off my knee pads with pride.

I flew down that hill. I could feel the wind through the holes in my Barbie helmet. All was right in the world until a small rock caught my attention too late. I gloriously tumbled down, stopping with an abrupt hit to my right knee. Needless to say that bump stayed with me for a whole week.

After that incident I swore to myself that I would always listen from then on. Of course, I was wrong. When I was seven my mama told me not to jump on my bed, I learned my lesson when I stumbled and bumped my head. When I was nine my granddad said to not jump off the swing when I was swinging high up. I learned my lesson when I jumped anyway and landed straight on my arm, therefore breaking it, that bump lasted a couple of months, hidden by my bright pink cast. When I was eleven my granddad passed away. I kept that bump in my throat for six whole days before it was knocked down like a dam. When I was 14 my older sister told me to stay away from the Dallas boys. She’d heard of them before. The bump on my heart lasted for months.

The following December I woke up with a bump on back, all black and blue. Little did I know, this bump was much different.

My session ended at 3:58 just like it always did. I burst through the doors and let the cool autumn air over take me. I run my small hand over my bare head, freshly stripped of the little hair wisps that gave my head a peachy look. I silently remind myself to bring a hat next time.

I start to take the familiar path home but somehow find myself walking toward the local park instead. The news I received today is affecting me more than I thought. I wanted one last look of the park before all was gone.

“I want you to be prepared for this fall,” Dr. Holloman sympathized earlier, “it’ll be very harsh on you. By the looks of your progress it’ll most likely be your last.”

I enter through the dark wood fence; memories rushing through my head as soon as my eyes fixate on the plastic playground. I walk on the path paying extra attention to my surroundings.

I pass the tire swing and see a small girl being swung around by what looked like her older brother. Both had bright blue eyes to match their light red hair and freckles. The girl was so small she looked as if she would slip right through the middle hole in the tire.

“Michael it’s going to fast! Slow down, I don’t like the spinning!” The little girl’s innocent face twisted in fear. At that moment a woman identical to the girl, only a little more aged, yelled out.

“Michael, stop! Your sister is sick enough as it is.”

The boy reluctantly stopped the swing gently.


I scoff at the mother’s remark. Sick, huh? That poor little girl, so sick that she can’t swing on a tire swing. Only healthy enough to play a game of tag and laugh with her friends. I continue walking on, disregarding my thoughts of the ignorant mother as she stared at my shiny head.

My next encounter was a girl, probably about my age, walking a beautiful golden husky. Her eyes radiated a saddened green color. Tears welled in them. Her deep brown hair was sloppily pulled back into a ponytail. She was shaking. I reckon it was more from whatever pain was consuming her rather than the cool autumn breeze.

What could be so bad in your life? Can things really be that bad for you? I wanted to scream out to the girl. You’re pathetic! You have no idea the pain some of us are living! Where will you be next autumn? Probably curled up with your dog reading a good book or cheering for your football team at a Friday night game under the beaming lights. Me, you ask? I’ll probably be in a hole in the ground, looking down on you from that big cloud in the sky, crying and wondering why I couldn’t be as privileged as any other kid.

What was wrong with me? I’ve never thought such harsh thoughts before. I try so hard to dig deep in my heart and pull out some sympathy for the hurting girl, but I can’t seem to find any. Angry thoughts fill my head again. Tears come streaming down my rosy cheeks. I veer off the path and lay myself down on an open layer of grass, staring up at the sky above me.

As I looked up something changed. The chaos around me disappeared. It was just me laying there in an open abyss of beauty. The sky was a light blue color, similar to a crayon you would find in an 84 pack of Crayolas. Wispy little clouds are found every once and a while, all scattered around. Mr. Sun making a slim appearance, slightly peeking out from under a cloud that was shaped like an ostrich. He was shining right over my little town of Winnipeg. Maybe it’s the hand of my angel reaching out for me, encouraging my early arrival to her world. Tall maple trees tower above me like skyscrapers in New York City. The leaves have turned a bright red color in the midst of the autumn season. The trees blow slightly in the wind. They pause for a second. That second was like the last one before your rollercoaster takes off on its uphill trek, full of anticipation for what will happen. The trees showed and eagerness to blow again in the calm breeze.

I close my eyes and feel the air around me. The air itself wasn’t that cold. It is one of those days were it’s not warm but not cold. The cool chill that’s pecking at my nose come from those light gusts of wind that come and go like people in your life.

I capture this moment in my mind. Even with my eyes closed I take a picture with them. I remember the little ginger children laughing and running. I wonder what they’ll grow up to be. Maybe they will be CEO of a big new business. Maybe they’ll slip into the fate of drug abuse, or maybe they’ll just be average adults. I think about the green-eyed girl. I hope she gets everything worked out. I hope she knows she is loved and everything will be okay in the end. She will probably grow up and have a slim memory of this moment in her life. I just pray that none of them have to encounter a future like mine.

A single tear runs down my face while I think of all these things. I will keep this moment in my mind, because moments like this won’t come again for a person with a fate like mine. 

Submitted: March 10, 2014

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