Personal Column: Everything Happens for a Reason


Romeeka Siddiqui, Staff Writer

I was frustrated. I was mad. I was torn. The back of my right hand was wet from wiping away the tears that ran down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. I knew it was bound to happen one day, but I didn’t think it would happen so fast.

Romeeka Siddiqui, Staff Writer

I woke up on May 11th, 2011 smiling. This was my day and nothing could go wrong. I sat up in my bed and grabbed my phone from the nightstand to my left. I had so many Facebook notifications and texts wishing me a happy birthday. I was fifteen now, which isn’t really an age of significance, but it was very special to me. I was a year older now and I couldn’t wait to start driving. After reading some of my messages, I realized what time it was, and quickly jumped out of bed to get ready for school.

As I walked into the school, my best friend Banan guided me to my locker, which was decorated beautifully. It was a nice surprise and by the end of the day, there were over thirty signatures on my locker. It had been a great day so far. School was over, so I walked out into the parking lot, where my sister Sarah’s car was always parked.

Immediately, I saw her waiting for me by her car. But as I turned to face her, I noticed something strange; she had been crying. I was perplexed because I saw her at lunch and she seemed fine. I gave her a look to get her to start talking, but she didn’t respond. She simply unlocked the car door and hopped into the passenger seat. The ride home was awkward at first because she wouldn’t say anything.

“Dude, what happened?” I finally got the nerve to break the silence. She looked over at me and whispered something inaudible. She cleared her throat and tried again.

“We have to pack our bags for Atlanta as soon as we get home.” She told me with a sense of urgency. Atlanta. Suddenly, it all started to make sense.
My grandmother lives in Atlanta, and she had a stroke three years ago. She was also a breast cancer survivor. Despite her medical history, my grandmother was a fighter. My family made it a priority to visit her on every holiday after she had her stroke. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Break we had. We would drive 18 hours just to see her. However, these past couple of weeks had been especially difficult for her, and we didn’t know how long she had to live. This trip might just be the last time I see her, I thought to myself.

Finally, we arrived at Atlanta at four in the morning. I will never forget the moment my aunt announced that my grandmother was no longer alive. For a moment, my heart stopped beating. We were too late, and I’d never be able to speak to her again. The next couple of days were miserable; there was a lot of crying, a lot of praying, and a lot of family bonding.

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 11. My grandmother spent her last few breaths in a hospital bed in the same place on the same day. It wasn’t the best birthday present, but I know that everything happens for a reason.