Short personal story to help others

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This short essay is about my father and my experiences that I had and also a little about how I felt. I wanted to share it so that others in the same situation can understand that it will be hard but it will also be okay in the end and to have many memories and have one ornamental thing that they will associate with that person and a specific event.

Submitted: June 22, 2015

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Submitted: June 22, 2015



Piston was his unlikely name. He was my dad’s teddy and a present from 
me. This threadbare Jaguar has black spots, white paws and a smooth 
black button nose. He also has a short stumpy tail and takes pride of 
place in my bedroom as a dearly loved toy. 

It was cold on the twelfth of March. In fact, a biting wind of 
realisation blew through us all. We were all in the, by now familiar, 
white room waiting on a nurse to come with another blood transfusion. 
Cancer. A killing machine for weak people some might say. We all knew 
that cancer could be fought, but in dad’s terrible case. The adults 
also knew that it was just a matter of days before it blindly took over 
his body and yet I was too young to understand. 

I remember the nurse came after what seemed a life time of waiting with 
a sealed bag of livid red. Another transfusion. Angela, was a tall 
blonde haired lady wearing plain blue overalls, squeaky blue shoes and 
a professional smile. It was funny that I also remember Rick lying in 
the room. He had a broken leg but was in the same room as dad for a wee 
while, with the same condition I later guessed. I went over to see him 
and he told me lots of stories about how he had no family over here and 
how in Africa where he came from they didn’t get this kind of royal 
treatment. He distracted me as I also came to later understand  while 
the nurse was caring for dad then, when it was his turn, he’d say “Your 
daddy is waiting for you princess”. I was only five at the time so I 
didn’t know a lot about what was going on. Adults hid a lot from me 
under a cloak of protection, but they told me enough but, not so much 
that it would make me cry. That day I knew however, by my mother’s face 
and tearful eyes that it was serious. 

Later on that day my granny and granddad came up from England looking 
calm and collected and brought smiles and presents for me. I remember 
that I started to watch “The Jungle Book” on a small portable DVD 
player with dad and Rick. Baloo was singing about “the bare necessities 
of life”. I was too young to understand the irony.

Later, much later, Mum and I went reluctantly home and another few days 
came and went like the bleeps on a heart monitor. One day after school 
we never went to the hospital. We didn’t go through the sliding doors 
or up the lift. We didn’t wash our hands with pungent hand sanitizer, 
we just went straight home. 

Arriving excitedly home, I saw my dad’s best friend’s red car outside 
the house and at first I thought something bad had happened. As I 
walked in the house led by my mother I looked up our long hallways and 
saw a tired figure slumped in the chair in the living room. I threw my 
school bag in my room. “DAD!” I remember shouting and I ran up to him 
and gave him a big hug without thinking of highway of tubes that he was 
connected to. At first I thought that dad was home for good and that he 
was all better but later I heard the clunking and clatter of metal 
cylinders on the pavement and a cart coming up the path I started to 
get worried. Mum explained that the three cylinders of oxygen were just 
for tonight to help him breath. The following day we were back to the 
same old routine. 

This time when we got to the hospital dad got moved into a room to by 
himself he smiled, but I could not see the pain in his eyes. Mum later 
came into the room and I smiled at her and asked where we were going 
she never replied. We got in the lift and she pressed the number three. 
“The sweetie shop” I shouted. I saw the smile that came over mum’s 
face, like the sun after darkness.

When we got there mum went and bought Muller rice for dad and sweets 
for me. It was then I saw Piston. I came over to the counter with it 
and asked “Can I get it for dad so he isn’t lonely at night time now 
that he doesn’t have Rick to keep him company? After I said it I could 
see from mums face that Rick had passed away and he hadn’t got better. 
Clutching the jaguar we went back up stairs. Dad was sleeping so a hop 
turned into a skip and a skip into a tip toe then I just walked 
quietly. I hadn’t seen him in a day but in that time mum gently told me 
that he was getting worse and that he was too weak to open his eyes to 
see me but I knew I was there. I told him what I had been doing at 
school that week and what I had been up to at home. I told him that I 
was coming in the bed beside him so he tried to move over but I told 
him that is was okay and I had enough room I never gave him his new 
teddy just yet but soon after I joined him I fell asleep. Piston also 
slept in his arms. 

The following morning Piston was sitting on the bottom of my bed. Today 
he watches over me as dad used to do. He is that bond between us that 
despite his death can never be broke. He is a source of love and 
comfort on difficult days and a child’s gift to a loving father. My dad’
s last words were “Tell princess to remember me and to look after 
Piston when I am gone!” As a young woman I have kept his promise. Some 
gifts in life can be returned. 

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