Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).
I spent the majority of my childhood in North Carolina with my grandmother. On the day of my twelfth birthday, she had a doctor’s appointment in Chapel Hill at UNC. It would be a month before I’d see her again.
Grandma wasn’t the nice, warm, loving grandmother that you read about in books. She was cold, distant, and mean. But she was all I had. My father lived in New York, with his other family. My mother, well when I was 12, I still thought she was dead. Turns out, she wasn’t… at least not yet. That’s not the point of this story.
Grandma went in for a doctor’s appointment to find out why she’d been falling down. Turns out, she had a pinched nerve wrapped around her spinal cord at the base of her neck. It was the reason she would be fine one minute and unable to stand the next. When the doctor discovered this, he ordered her into emergency surgery. The person that took her to that appointment called me that night to let me know that she wouldn’t be home, and that she wasn’t sure when she would be back.
I was 12. That day! I’d never been on my own. The person my father left in charge of me didn’t give a rats ass about me. So I spent most of my time at home alone, rather than on her couch listening to her talk shit about me through the walls. My twelfth birthday was the day I learned to take care of myself. That was the day I grew up.