Dee's Journal



Entry #7: Everything's the same...but I'm so different.


At school, everything seemed the same, my friends, the stuff they were talking about, who was going with who (well maybe that had changed a little I while was gone), but I felt so different. Like a huge part of me just didn't belong there anymore. Like I was watching a movie, and these people, who used to be so important to be me, were just part of the scenery and I was walking through the whole thing.

I didn't feel like flirting. I didn't feel like hearing all the stupid boring gossip.

At lunch, I was sitting with Carin and Suzie and Laurel was there. And after about 10 or 15 minutes, Laurel says to me, "How come you're not eating? Are you okay?" She asked but I really didn't feel like she cared, so I said, "Not really." And I got up and went outside.

There's this tree in the back of the school, not far from the track and I stood underneath it for a while. I looked up through the branches. I squinted my eyes so that I was focusing on the bits of sky that were in between the leaves. They were like puzzle pieces and you could see the blue coming through in weird shapes. Then I opened my eyes wide and then the leaves on the lowest branches, closest to me, came into focus.

I'm starting to feel that everything in my life is coming into focus in a new way. Is that what happens when someone you love dies? You start thinking about life and what it all means? Wow. It's weird. I mean, if I was to die, right now, who would be sorry? Who would remember anything about me? I haven't really done anything that's worth remembering. Maybe I'm just wasting my time? Maybe I'm supposed to be doing something that has some meaning. I have no idea what that thing could be... not a clue. But maybe that dream I had, about Grandma Webster turning into a bird and flying away... Maybe it had to do with freedom. I'm not sure but I'd really like to find out. Because the way I see things now, most of the stuff my friends are into seems like a major "So What?" And I'm finding it really hard to relate.

When the bell rang at the end of lunch I went back inside and ran into Miguel, and since we both had a free period, we went to the library.

Maybe it's because he was born in another country, I dunno, but there's something about him that I really like. He's got a cool accent too!

He was so sweet. He actually told me that he was sorry to hear that my Grandma died. Not one other person said that to me. It's like they were afraid to bring it up or... I dunno. I shouldn't dump on them. I'd probably be the same way if someone's grandparent died. I wouldn't know what to say. But Miguel knew what to say! He told me how awful he felt when his grandfather died a few years ago. And somehow it made me feel better, listening to him talk about it. So I told him what the funeral was like and how I felt looking down in the coffin and seeing my Grandma's body. And then Miguel told me about this holiday they've got in Mexico, that he and his family still celebrate even though most of them live here now. It's called The Days of the Dead. Every year the family gets together and remembers people they loved who died. Friends, relatives, even ancestors from a long time ago. It's a happy time everyone eats good food and candy and remembers those friends and relatives with love. While Miguel was talking about it I could definitely see why he loved this holiday so much. And it made me want to celebrate my Grandmother's love for me. Miguel said that during The Days of the Dead, people light candles and their light helps guide the spirit of the dead person back home. He's lucky to have that tradition in his culture and I was thinking that maybe I could borrow a little bit of it.

He told me that I could make a shrine to my Grandma. I could put together a bunch of things that were special to her. My mom gave me the journal Grandma Webster wrote in when she was young. I think I'm going to keep that journal in a special place, next to the picture of me and her that Dad took at my eighth grade graduation. And my Aunt found a birthday card that I had made for my Grandma when I was seven. The writing is so pathetic, but kinda cute. There's a picture of a big bird and a little bird on the front and it says, "If I was a bird I'd have a bird for a Grandma". Then underneath that is a picture of a big fish and a little fish and it says, "If I were a fish, I'd have a fish for a Grandma." Then you open it up and it says, "But I'm not a bird or a fish... I'm me and you are my Grandma. Happy birthday, Grandma! Your granddaughter, Dee"

And there's a drawing of me and Grandma Webster, smiling and holding hands. I'm this little girl with braids and skinny legs wearing this white blouse and red and green plaid skirt. I remember that skirt! We're holding hands and smiling and the sun is shining right over our heads. And there's flowers all around (I always liked to draw flowers.) I was glad that my aunt had found it. It's also amazing that my Grandma saved it all these years. I think I'll put that card in with the other things in my Grandma's shrine.

Oh, one other thing! I almost forgot. Miguel asked me out!




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