I Can Ride My Bike With No HandlebarsGrowing up, there was no one I adored more than my grandmother. From a young age she was the one there for me. My mother was going through a rough time while I was really young so my grandma took the lead on raising me. I always felt a little closer to her than my other siblings also, because I was named after her. Her name was Elizabeth and my middle name is Elizabeth. Until I was 15 I was able to sit on my grandma's knee and tell her everything that was bothering me. In January 2008, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Being 15, I didn't know that that was a death sentence. I knew cancer was deadly, having lost my grandfather (her husband) to cancer almost 10 years before then. I took a long time for me to understand that there was nothing doctor's could do to help her, because her cancer was Stage 4.
After her diagnoses, our family spent as much time as we could with her. Cooking special dinners, recording her tell stories, and just being with her. We even took her on a trip to Santa Barbara, a special place for our family. Its where we spread my grandfather's ashes at sea, and spent every Easter. She did not walk to the break water with us to throw roses like our tradition to memorialize my grandpa. That day I took one of the last pictures of her. It still haunts me. She was sitting in my mom's car, wearing her purple sweater with roses on it. Her face had thinned out and the whites of her eyes were yellow. Her skin was even a little green tinted. She looked sick. She had denied any medical intervention, so she was wasting away before our eyes.
She had a fall not long after we came home from our trip to Santa Barbara, so my mother and uncle decided it was best to put their mother in a convalescent home a few blocks away from her house. She was so unhappy about their decision, but it was no longer safe for her to live at home alone. She fell into a coma before Easter 2008. She died on March 29th 2008 at 7:45. 73 days after she was diagnosed with cancer.
That morning, I had decided to go to school, unlike my brother and sister who had stayed home. My mother gave us all the option of stay home, knowing grandma was going to pass away soon. I didn't want to sit at home and be sad so school was the best thing for me. My brother dropped me off at 7:00 am and went back home. I met up with my friends and just tried to act like I was okay. The bell to go to my first class rang at 7:45 am. My friend's walked to class with me, my best friend Ian even kissed me before going into his class. I walked into my first period with my friend Baily, not feeling my cell phone vibrating in the front pocket of my hoodie. I felt the last ring, and my body went cold. I knew. I checked the screen and my phone said one missed call from mom. I went outside and called her back, but it went to voicemail. I waited for her to call me again. My mom told me that grandma had passed away, and that my brother was on his way up to pick me up from school. I told Baily, ran into my classroom to grab my backpack and waited outside for my brother. The security guard that locks the gate yelled at Baily and I to get into school, but she walked over and told him what was going on, so he waited until my brother got there. I got into my brother's car and we were off to the home that my grandma was at. He had the music on really loud, and "Handlebars" by Flobots was on KROQ. My mind was so empty all I could focus on was the words coming out of the speakers. "I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars." It was like one of the most popular songs on the radio at the time. We got to the home, and my mom was waiting outside. We said our goodbyes, and when my uncle got there with my cousins our entire family said goodbye.
On March 29th 2008 at 7:45am Elizabeth Campbell B****** passed away. My grandma was on her way to join her husband. After losing her I felt like my life was like trying to ride a bike with no handlebars. I could not ride with no handlebars. I took quite a few falls, but everyday got better with time, and now I use my experience in losing my grandmother to show that every fall you take makes you stronger. Now I ride my bike with no handlebars.