Lily sweetie, get up. Youre gonna be late, AGAIN! Lily, an 18 year old living in the latter part of 21st century, awoke to her mothers piercing screams. Not really the most pleasant awakening, but she was quite used to it. She stretched out in her queen-sized feather bed, and looked out the window. Once again, a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping. Ah yes, life was perfect in her home town of Park Rapids.
As she slowly climbed out of bed, her phone rang in the its usual annoying tone.
Ello? Lily answered the phone while stifling a yawn, only to be met by the piercing screams of her best friend Paige.
Oh, my god. Lily, today is like, totally the day! I hope you didnt forget that today is like, the most important day of our lives. I mean, like, oh my god, if we like make it through today, we will be like, so totally IN! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Paige was known for her ability to speak at break neck speeds, but today she spoke at a Mach 3 pace.
Paige, what on earth are you talking about, Lily questioned her friends excitement as she riffled through her dresser draws in search of the perfect outfit. But no luck, the yellow, chick polo wasnt to be found. She continued on in search of the pleated skirt that went with it. If she could find that, shed be in luck. It wasnt until she heard the high pitched screeching of Paige that she realized that she was still on the phone with her.
Gosh, Lily, have you even heard a word Ive said? In case youve forgotten, today is the day of the cheerleading tryouts! And as a result, we will set our status in the high school. HOW COULD YOU FORGET? Paige had a tone of utter disbelief in her voice. Lily could tell that Paige was thoroughly ticked off at her.
Oh, yeah, of course, how could I forget about that, Lily gritted her teeth as she forced out the tone of false knowledge, why would I forget? I have been like, so ready for this for weeks now. Lily could tell that Paige didnt believe her. So she continued searching as Paige shrieked some more about the importance of the tryouts. As she riffled through her dark and musty closet on her hands and knees, she came across her skirt in a pile of clean clothes that shed shoved in there the other day in a ditch effort to clean her room.
Aha! Finally I found it. Now, if only I could find that shirt. Only after she muttered her victory, did she realize that she was still on the phone with Paige.
Have you not listened to like, a word Ive said? I can like, so totally not believe this. I make a nice gesture to help you, and Im rewarded with this? This is just so totally, like, wrong. Ill see you at school, Lily. And within 10 seconds of finding her skirt, Paige had hung up on the speechless Lily.
Well, she proclaimed to her empty room, she didnt resort to more than 5 likes, so I think Im safe. I swear, that girl is going to have a heart attack one of these days. Lily continued her search and managed to find, not only her shirt, but 2 dollars, her favorite flower hair clips, and her mothers heirloom necklace. After finishing getting ready for school, Lily skipped joyously down the steps to the kitchen. Her mother, Theresa, was standing at the sink washing up her fathers breakfast dishes. Lily was still amazed at how much she resembled her mother. Her mothers chestnut hair fell in smooth curls to her mid back. She was dressed for work at the law office, but hadnt put on her shoes yet. Lily stifled a laugh when she saw that her mother already had runs in her brand new nylons.
Now just what do you think youre laughing at, young lady, Theresa had turned around at the sound of Lilys laughter and mockingly scolded her, I hope youre not laughing at your dear sweet mother, because if you are, then you better have time to walk to school. No daughter of mine will get a ride if she laughs at me into he morning.
Oh mother, when will you learn. Everyday, you get runs in your nylons. Why dont you let Maria do the dishes, that way you wont be in such a hurry to buy new nylons before your big day at the office. Lily padded across their new age kitchen to the speaker on the wall and attempted to decide what she wanted to have for breakfast. As she pondered what to eat, her younger brother scrambled into the room.
Hey, slow down young man. What do you think this place is, a race track? Save that for practice tonight. Theresa made a grab for her 16 year old son and managed to catch the back of his t-shirt.
Yo, ma, whats with the chokage? Give me some slack. I dont want to miss my ride. Unless youre going to let me take the car today, Jacob looked pleading at his mother and dramatically threw himself at her feet. I mean, mom, Im the only guy without a car. All the chicks dig guys with wheels.
You have wheels Jakeypoo, Lily laughed at her kid brothers antics, its called a bike
Yo, sis, when are ya gonna quit with the kid names? I am not a child anymore, Im a man. As Jake said this, he puffed out his chest in, what he thought to be, a manly stance. His gesture wasnt anymore manly than a baby in diapers. Lily reached over and socked him in the stomach and Jake was forced to buckle over.
Yeah, youre a man all right, teased Lily as she waited for her breakfast, youre about as much of a man as me. And that is definitely not a compliment.
Now stop it you two, Theresa planted herself in between the two. Which was a smart thing, because they seemed to be treading in hot waters and a fight was brewing, Ive had enough of that bickering. Jacob, you may take a car today, but only if you drop me off at the doctors office on your way. At this, Lily opened her mouth to voice her opinion. Why was it that the little twerp always got what he wanted? she thought bitterly to herself. But before she could begin to defend herself, her mother began on the conditions, this was definitely something that she wanted to hear.
After you drop me off, I expect you to go straight to school. None of this gallivanting around and picking up friends. If they have cars, they can drive themselves. Also, no going out at lunch and cruising main, Theresa paused to think of more conditions, but she was interrupted by a distraught Jacob.
Mother! What is the point of driving if I cant go out at lunch. And what is so bad about main? The cops monitor it enough, don’t they? Youve said yourself that its a lot safer than it was when you were my age. And even Grandma Kate said that its safe. Grandma would know too, she was 16 when they had all of the fights about loitering and the whole bout of putting stop signs up. I promise Ill be good, mom, Ill even. When Theresa cut him off, Jake was starting to sound more and more like most of the campaigning politicians. Which he did quite often, since he was constantly glued to the TeleWall.
Ok, ok, you have a good point. You may go out at lunch, but if youre late for Biology class, I will not call Ardell with an excuse. That woman goes through enough each day, Im not going to make her job anymore complicated. Just let her give you a unexcused tardy and leave it at that. Theresa turned around and headed out of the room, thus ending the conversation. The second that she was out of earshot, Lily started right in on her younger brother.
I can not believe you. You are such a spoiled brat. I have half the mind to tell mom about the songs that you downloaded in the BMWs stereo system. You know that mom told you that Perry Cole was the devil incarnate. Plus, she forbid you to ever listen to anything from the late 90s and beginning of the century. I know that you listen to Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. And dont think I dont know about your collection of Backstreet Boys and NSync downloads. Im going to make sure that you dont get the BMW or the Cougar. You better be careful little bro. Lily turned on her heel and left Jake standing in shock at her venomous tone as she stomped off in search of their mother.
Mom, where are you? Lily yelled for her mother, but she wasnt in her room or in the rec room. Lily finally found her mother looking through old, dusty photo albums in the basement.
Hey mom, what are you looking at? Lily sat down next to her mother and looked at the photos. Is that Grandma Kate? Wow, would you get a load of that outfit? Im so glad that flare jeans are out of style. And those long sleeved t-shirts? Ive never understood those. If youre going to wear a t-shirt, wear a t-shirt. If youre cold, wear a sweater. Whoever invented those probably isnt too well off right now, right? Lily laughed at herself, and was surprised when her mother didnt react at all to her.
Do you know who this is in this photo with my mother? Theresa had a tone of amazement and curiosity when she questioned her daughter, Thats your grandfather, or its my biological father. Your grandfathers best friend in fact.
Mom, are you feeling ok, what on earth are you talking about? Lily knew that something wasnt right, but she didnt know what to do. She was afraid that her mother was sick, but she was also intrigued by what shed just told her. She had always wanted to know more about her grandfather, whom had died when she was only 6.
Im fine, sweetie. Just a little tired is all. I think Ill stay home today. I’ve been so busy lately with the reunion and work. Plus planning for your graduation. Theresa looked like she wanted to say more, but she slumped over the photo album. Lily looked frantically around in panic, trying to make clear of what was happening around her.
Jacob! Get down her right now. Call 911, moms sick! Help me Jacob, please! Lily screamed frantically for her brother as she clutched her mother. Just a few minutes before, shed been alert and full of life only minutes before in the kitchen.
Mom? Mom, talk to me. Wake up mom. Please mom. Dont do this, we cant do this without you. We need you. Dad, Jacob and I need you. Stay with us mom, please. Lily was unable to finish her pleading, she was overcome with sobs of anguish and confusion. Within minutes, an ambulance had arrived at their home. As they watched the attendants wheel their mother to the ambulance, Jacob and Lily clung to each other against the early morning air. When the ambulance was out of sight, Lilys mind clicked into, what seemed like, a drill sergeant mode. She frantically ordered her brother around to finish picking up the kitchen, while she herself made a few phone calls. But her train of thought was interrupted by a babys screams.
Tessa and Peter! How could I forget about them. Lily smacked her forehead as she remembered her youngest brother and sister. She quickly ran to their rooms to get them dressed and ready to leave. As she did this, she quickly called her father to tell him what had happened. Anthony was beside himself with bewilderment at his wifes sudden illness. They agreed to meet at the hospital, and Lily hung up with her father.
Finally, Jacob and Lily had the twins ready and were on their way to the hospital. Neither of them had much energy nor urge to talk, so the car was filled with the sound of complete silence, with the exception of Tessa and Peter gurgling in the back seat.
When they reached the hospital, Lily found the nearest parking space to the Emergency Room entrance and they hurried into the hospital.
The first person they saw as they entered through the doors was their father. Anthony hurried over to his children and embraced them. His 43 year old face was full of worry, not with the usual youthfulness. He looked much older than his age, and Lily was even more distraught by this sight.
Ok, guys, Anthonys voice was filled with concern and Lily thought he was trying to hide something, but his eyes told the truth, your mom is going to be fine. Shes just having a spell. The doctors are in with her right now trying to find out why she fell unconscious.
I dont believe you. Lily exclaimed with such a defying tone that she surprised even herself. I want to see mom for myself. Where is she? Lily made her way towards the front desk to ask where her mother was when Anthony stopped her.
No, Im telling you the truth, honey. Just sit tight and well know more in a little while Anthony led Lily to a chair where she sat quite reluctantly. He feared that at any moment she might jump up and bolt towards the room that held the dying Theresa. The doctors were doing the best that they could, but they couldnt seem to figure out what was causing her sudden illness. As they waited, they kept on seeing multiple nurses and attendants surging in and out of the emergency room. And it was even less reassuring for them to hear repeated, urgent calls for surgeons and specialists to report to the emergency room stat. After awhile, the twins began to get restless, so to keep her mind off of the current events, Lily brought them to the nursery upstairs. As she sat back and watched the 8 month old twins play with the toys, she couldnt help but wonder how they were going to end up. Deep down, she knew that her mother was slipping away from them and she didnt want Tessa and Peter to grow up not knowing their mother. It just wasnt right or fair for them.
With this on her mind, Lily got out her notebook and began to write. She wrote down every little detail about her mother. How she sounded when she laughed, how you couldnt get scared of her when she was mad because her face would contort into a crunched up mass. Lily wrote and wrote until her hand grew stiff, tired and cramped. Only then did she sit back and reread what shed written. After reading what shed written, she looked down at the twins, who were fast asleep on the rug. She gathered them up and began her slow, but determined, walk down the stairs. She was ready to face whatever it was that was to happen.
Lily, I was just about to come and find you Anthony greeted his daughter at the elevator doors. His face was filled with sadness, but relief from having found his daughter. You can go in now and see your mom. But first, I need to tell you something sweetheart. Your mother isnt going to make it. Shes put up a good fight, shes been asking for you for the past hour or so. I dont think she wants to go without saying good bye. So go in there, and keep her company. But dont be scared, shes not in any pain, nor will she be anymore.
Lily walked into her mothers room and was shocked by how different she looked from the last time shed seen her. Her mother looked like a small child in the hospital bed with tubes for I.V.s and blood pressure and heart monitor all sticking out of her at various angles. The hospital room was painted a light blue with yellow trim in a hazardous attempt to brighten the situations that occur in the room. The window overlooked a pond in the neighboring park and it was a gorgeous view. Lily fought hard to stop the tears that were already beginning to well up in her deep green eyes as she walked towards her mother.
Mommy? Lily tentatively approached her mother. She was afraid to talk too loudly because she might make her mother hurt. As she walked closer, her mother opened her eyes and attempted to say something, but failed. Lily moved closer to her and held her hand.
Are you going to be ok? Lily asked this question with such innocence that it brought tears to Theresas eyes. Theresa nodded her head vigorously, reconsidered her answer and shook her head softly. Lily began to weep softly into the bedding of the hospital bed. She felt her mothers grip tighten on her hand and she looked up into her mothers green eyes.
I want you to watch over your brothers and sister for me. Theresa stopped and started to wheeze. Her breathing was becoming labored and she was weakening by the minute. I love you very much sweetie, and you have always been the perfect daughter.
Theresa stopped talking and sank back into her pillows, Lily began to weep even more and held onto her mother as the machines began to whine relentlessly. A nurse came into the room, accompanied by Anthony, and turned off the machine. As she walked out of the room holding her deceased mother, Lily made a vow to herself to never forget her mother, Theresa Marie Swenson Olsen. Words
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