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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Letter to the Editor
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Grandparent’s death propels faith

Louise Dana was one of the sweetest grandmothers in the entire world. She loved to shop, bake, travel, sew, and make her family laugh until they cried. She made herself available to anyone who needed her. Most of all, she was my best friend.

She took me to Chuck E. Cheese once or twice a week and we played every game together, always leaving with the biggest prizes. A McDonalds ice-cream cone was our afternoon snack. Though we never much deviated from our daily routines, our time together remained special.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a disease in the year 1999. Lou Gehrig?s disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), began to take over her body. A virus attacked the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in weak muscles and partial paralysis.

She was not able to swallow by herself, but she refused a feeding tube to transfer food into her body. And even though her respiratory system failed, she would not accept a respirator to help her breathe. Living without these things decreased the days of life she had left, very quickly.

ALS also causes extreme weight loss. In a short amount of time, she dropped from a heathy 200 pounds to 90 pounds. The bones in her arms, legs, and neck were abnormally visible. The virus diminished her vocal cords, and she could no longer talk. Lou Gehrig?s was taking her away from me slowly and painfully.

Sewing and shopping became impossible to do because her hands were too weak to hold a needle and her legs were not able to hold the little weight she had left. We resorted in putting her in a wheel chair but she often refused to sit.

My grandmother died in the year 2000. At first I considered her death ?unfair? because I did not think it was her time to die yet. Our times of going to Chuck E. Cheese were not supposed to be over and we had not eaten at McDonalds in weeks.

The day she died was one of the saddest days of my life. Though I was only six years old and did not understand much of what was going on, I still felt like I lost my best friend. Knowing how much pain she experienced burdens my heart whenever I think of her.

Though nothing ended my sadness, I realized that her suffering had finally ended. She was in heaven rejoicing with God. Because I knew she liked to bake, I made myself feel better by saying that she baked apple pies in heaven just for Jesus.

Despite the terrible circumstances, I consider myself blessed to have her as a grandmother. I am proud that I was able to watch someone trudge bravely through life while so many things seemed impossible. From her, I learned that as long as we keep our eyes on the Lord and have faith that He will guide us, anything is possible.

For more personal stories, visit Brittany Shaffer’s article Divorce deepens loneliness.

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  • J

    Julianne KingApr 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

    That picture is one of the funniest I have ever seen. Those two girls are the greatest!

    Reply
  • K

    Kristen RosenthalApr 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Man, my face looks creepy in that pic… this party was so much fun! Me, Bekah Martinez, Annaleah Joseph and Viviana Hinajosa threw this party in home ec. because we were doing a party-throwing unit. I miss this sooo much 🙂

    Reply
  • D

    Danielle St. MarieApr 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

    This is priceless! Your guys’ faces are classic.

    Reply