Mar 20, 2009

Angie Martin - Southeast High School
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

I believe in miracles. Miracles are happening around us each and every day. Miracles come in all sizes. There are the small trivial ones, like getting an A on the vocabulary quiz you forgot to study for, but then there are the big ones, like the times when life gives you a second chance. I believe when you wish upon a star, your wish might just come true.

In the summer of 1996 my grandpa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He smoked a pack a day and started drinking before noon most days, so it was not a surprise to his kids. I had just finished preschool and was entering kindergarten so I didn’t exactly understand what was going on except that my grandpa was yellow, and in the words of my mother, “he would be going to a better place just like your goldfish”. I was confused. How on earth could I flush my grandpa down the toilet? He was just too big, it wouldn’t work; plus goldfish are orange and grandpa was yellow.

I believe when you wish upon a star, your wish might just come true.

That year my grandparents spent a lot of time driving back and forth from Springfield to St. Louis. Even with the best doctors around, my grandpa’s chances of surviving were slim to none. When it came time for my kindergarten graduation, my grandpa went. Everyone was shocked, considering my grandpa never went to anything like that, not even for his kids. Even he was scared he wouldn’t live much longer.

My grandpa was a fighter; days, weeks and months passed and as the time ticked on, so did my grandpa’s heart. His cancer was slowly going away. The chemo was working. Before I knew it I was in fifth grade and my grandpa was going for his final checkup. His cancer was gone for good.

When I began High school in August of 2005, my grandpa was doing better then ever. He was back up to his usual pace. He worked on the farm with my Uncle Bill and took the dogs for a walk every day. We ate breakfast together every morning, and every morning of my freshman and sophomore year he drove me to school.

Now, with June fast approaching of my senior year, my grandpa will be there to watch me walk across the stage once again. We still eat breakfast together in the mornings, only now I drive myself to school. He even goes to my swim meets when he has time. He just celebrated his 81st birthday in January; he’s slowing down a bit now since he is getting older but he is still my grandpa, and I am still his favorite grandkid.

It is because of a miracle that my grandpa is still alive today. He has cut back to half a pack a day but the keg is still in the basement refrigerator. But that’s my grandpa for you!