“Araceli! Come down and help me clean your brothers play pen, please. ” The plea breaks the silence filling the house. My two sisters and I have been cooped up in my bedroom all day long because of the cool weather outside. Fall has always been my family’s favorite time of the year. The chilly air pierces your skin, making it the perfect time to sport our sweaters; we had waited all Summer to finally be able to wear them again.
Fiery orange, sunflower yellow, and ruby red leaves will soon litter everyone’s yards – causing grumpy old men a fit, knowing they’ll have to be out raking all the beautiful leaves into tall piles, only for the wind to scatter them again. I push the frilly blankets off my body and leave the cozy little fort I had established in my bedroom. Diana, my eleven year old sister, and Abby, my seven year old sister, remain lying on the bed, entranced by the newest episode of “Once. ” Sluggishly, I make my way down the stairs and to the living room.
My mother stands in the kitchen, leaning up against the granite counter. Dominic’s pin is going to be absolutely disgusting… That’s the only reason she would even ask me to help clean it. I think to myself. Mom quietly watches as I scrunch my face up as I peer into the pin, realizing my suspicions were correct. She laughs, “It’s really not that bad. You’re not here all day, everyday, to see the horrors I have to see in this house. You girls are filthy. ” I can’t help but chuckle. That woman is an angel, the most patient and loving of all.
After cleaning up various mysterious substances, I settle down on the olive green love seat. I channel surf for anything on tv, as if I hadn’t spent the entire day staring at bright images on a screen all day long. I turn my head towards the kitchen, my mother walks into the room and plops herself right beside me. We sink into the couch and giggle. ” Where did you find that little sweater Dominic has on? ” I ask my mom. “Oh, I didn’t. Deyni stopped by earlier today to see him and bought it for him. It’s cute, right? ” She smiles, knowing I already loved it.
The sweater was heather gray with a red fox on the tiniest front pocket ever; it was sickeningly adorable. “It is! ” I answered back. “When did Deyni stop by? I’ve been home all day, I had no idea anyone had visited. ” “Around noon. Marcos and Erick were with her, too! ” I haven’t seen Deyni’s three-year-old son, Erick, in nearly two months. Her husband Marcos, too; he’s the funniest, most kind hearted man I’ve ever met. Deyni herself is mom’s best friend. In fact, I grew up calling her my aunt. Her daughter Stephanie is four years younger than me.
Stephanie has always looked up to me as a role model, we grew up together as neighbors. She has grown to be a beautiful and intelligent girl, I’ve always been extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. Our two families are closely knit, always have been. Anytime I get a chance to see Deyni’s family is special to me, so I was upset when I found out I had missed her today. “I had no idea! Had I known I would’ve came down and talked to them. I miss them… How ae they doing, though? ” I ask curiously. “Well, I can’t say they’re doing WELL, but they’re okay. ” Mom answers back.
This catches my attention. Concerned, I continue my questioning. “What does that mean? ” A worried look blankets my mother’s face. This isn’t good. This isn’t good at all. Mom begins into her explanation. “You know Deyni’s eyesight has never been any good. ” Yeah, she’s pretty much blind as a bat. I think to myself. I nod my head. “Two months ago, she said she was having more trouble than before. She could barely make out faces, and I’m talking about sitting across from her at a table. ” I sit completely still, taking in everything that is being revealed to me. So, she asked Mrs. Harper if she could take a week off to rest her eyes and visit her optometrist. However, nothing helped.
Dr. Levign, during her appointment, told Deyni that he could tell there’s something growing in the back of her eye socket. Our first thought: tumor. Dr. Lavign warned her, if she didn’t seek immediate attention, there is a possibility she may completely loose her eyesight. ” This bit catches me off guard and sent a sharp, lingering pain into my heart. Oh. My. God. “Was it? ” I question. Mom continues.
The doctor wasn’t absolutely sure though, so he referred her to the UVA Medical Center for further analysis. There, the doctor at the Medical Center suggested almost immediate action to stop Deyni’s episodes of near blindness. ” That sick feeling in my stomach lingers, growing worse and worse with each passing syllable spoken to me. “Deyni was asked to participate in a surgery to determine what the problem was. The surgery went as planned with no complication. However, there was a problem. What we thought was a tumor, was actually something much worse. ” The words send chills up my spine.
I know that no matter what is said next, it can’t possibly be good. “Deyni didn’t have a tumor, she had a retinal detachment. ” I can feel my face fall, I see the reflection of a broken heart in my mothers watering eyes. I know my voice is going to break, but I ask anyway, “What? What does that mean? Is it reversible, is she going to be okay? ” I try to mask the panic in my voice, but I know it’s easily deciphered. “No, honey. A transplant may have been able to save her vision, had the detachment been from the eye socket. Instead, the retinas have detached themselves from her brain.
A transplant may restore her eyesight, but it would only be temporary. There’s nothing she could have done, this problem is hereditary. We think maybe her father had the same issue. ” I lean forward on the couch and try my best to push back the tears. A wave of sorrow takes me under. All I can think about is her son and daughter. She may never be able to see Stephanie walk down the aisle, or Erick on his graduation day. Deyni hasn’t seen her family in Honduras for over ten years… What if she never gets the chance to see her mothers face again?
How can someone who is so good, and with such a huge heart, have to suffer this sort of tragedy? It doesn’t seem fair, right, or justified. This beautiful family deserves better than this. This must be what heartbreak feels like. Mom finishes the story, but I can no longer hear her. Instead, the fiery colored Autumn leaves, falling from their limbs and onto the yard, have my full attention. Fall has always been my family’s favorite time of the year. The chilly air pierces your skin, making it the perfect time to sport our sweaters; we had waited all Summer to finally be able to wear them again.
Fiery orange, sunflower yellow, and ruby red leaves litter everyone’s yards – causing grumpy old men a fit; they are aware they’ll have to be out raking all the leaves into tall piles, only for the wind to scatter them again. I feel mom lean her body towards me, she embraces me tightly. We sit on the couch, television off, and watch the leaves fall against the backdrop of the darkening sky. I hear the unmistakable noise of tiny feet pitter patter running down the wooden stairs. Diana, Abby, mom and I, all squish together on the couch. In silence, we watch the pretty colors fall and land gently on the ground.