Learning How to Remember

personal narratives Dec 08, 2020
By Kathy
For Jack Anglin
I sighed in relief and ran away from my desk after being done with homework from summer camp. Mumbling to myself on how agitating homework was, I rushed downstairs only to find my mom looking like all the energy she had was drained out. I slowed down and put my focus back to reality. Reality. I was very confused. Slowly the truth slipped out and it felt as if the universe had just slapped me in the face. My clenched fists unraveled and my gritted teeth went away only to reveal shock. Shocked that I had to believe in reality. I felt like I was lost in the middle of nowhere. Why had I been so self-centered, not paying attention to problems of life and death? Why did this have to happen? What was I going to do?
“My coworker only has two weeks to live due to cancer,” my mom said in Chinese.
Her face looked pale as she sat by her computer with her hands in her lap.
I didn’t want to believe it so I quietly asked, “Are you one-hundred percent sure?”
“Yes, the doctor said that,” mom grimly replied.
Every day was one day closer to Mr. Anglin’s death, and I was still unsure of what to do and how to receive this news. But as we all expected, two weeks later on August 21st, 2020, Mr. Anglin passed away. Every night I thought about how much the world would miss him. Even though I barely interacted with Mr. Anglin, one thing I did know is that he can bring smiles on everyone’s faces. He’d remind people what holiday it was, what memories he had with his old pets, and he’d always celebrate events and holidays with a huge grin spreading from ear to ear. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I read Mr. Anglin’s obituary and I found out we had a lot in common. We both enjoyed feeding birds and photography! I really wished I got to know him better while he was still here.
Back in August when I received the news that Mr. Anglin passed away, I knew that I had to do something to remember this moment in time. After a long time of thinking how I could remember Mr. Anglin and what to do, I decided to write this poem down below. It’s called To Lose;
I never knew what it felt like to lose. Not to win or lose, it’s the kind of loss that makes your grip shake. The kind that tells you to let go, but you can’t. You can’t because you care, you can’t because they were always there. I never knew what it felt like to lose someone you don’t even know, but heard of. I’ve always been trapped in my own shell, not coming out to see the world. But now they’re gone.
I never knew what it felt like to lose, but now, I know.
Even though Mr. Anglin is gone, his soul and his positivity will never be. His kindness, his passion, his actions will always live on. His enthusiasm, benevolence, will never be forgotten. We will never forget the sunshine he cast upon us, the stories he shared, memories made, and most importantly, the kindness he brought to the world.
Mr. Anglin demonstrated that I should be more kind and appreciate the people around me more. I started to enjoy more time spent with others. After Mr. Anglin passed away, I decided to spend more time with my family, friends, and my pets. Although homework is still pretty stressful, I try to manage my time and stay organized so I can spend more time with my family and friends. I also appreciate and play with my birds a lot more because they mean so much to me and they remind me of how Mr. Anglin loved nature and birds. Even though I can’t meet my friends due to the pandemic right now, I still make sure to message and check in on how they’re doing. This is how I am going to remember.


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