I checked the time, 1:00 a.m. As my eyes glanced around the room, all I could see was my family, with expressions I can’t even describe. There was a sort of sadness in the entire room. I scrambled across the room and sat in my chair, pulled my knees up, and wrapped my arms around them. Something was wrong, more wrong than I realized. I could feel it. My mom muttered something I didn’t quite understand as she went back to my dad’s side. “What’s wrong?” I asked. She hurried to my side. “Please go get some more ice from the waiting room, honey.”
“All right.” As I got up I felt something was completely wrong, but went to do what my mom had asked me to do anyway. I struggled to get a grip on myself as I walked down the busy hallway.  Once I reached the ice machine, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach, a gut feeling that something bad was about to happen. I almost dropped everything I had in my hands and started running down the hallway back to my dad’s hospital room. Once I got to the door I hesitated, scared of what I would see, what I would hear, of what to think. As I finally worked up the courage to walk inside the room, the first face I saw was my mother’s. There was something buried in her eyes that I couldn’t be sure of—and it scared me. I stared for another minute, shocked, paralyzed. I could feel something, panic maybe, building up in my chest. My whole body went numb. I couldn’t feel anything below my neck. My knees must have started to shake because the walls of the room were suddenly wobbling. I could hear my heart pounding faster than normal behind my ears. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe normally, tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, that it was all just a dream and none of it had ever happened. “Just a dream,” I told myself. I forced myself to open my eyes, nothing seemed to go away. I hoped that I was fainting, but to my disappointment, I didn’t lose consciousness.
I walked up to the side of my dad’s bed and held his hand, one last time. His hands were warm, and I knew if I wanted to say something to him I had to say it to him now. “I love you,” I whispered.
I felt his hand squeeze my hand. Even though he was sleeping, he could still hear us. But his grip slowly started to fade. I looked up at him. I saw him take his last breath, and just like that, he was gone. It felt as if the waves of pain that had only lapped at me before were now reared high up and had washed over my head, and I felt as if I was never going to be able to resurface. He was there for my very first breath, and I was there for his last.
I have learned to not take every day I get for granted, but as a gift. To cherish every single moment I have with my family and the ones that I love no matter the circumstances, especially my mother who had to switch gears to become a mother and father combined just to care for me.

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