Greetings:) Please read and critique my essay. I would appreciate it if you would tell me what this essay says about me.
When I walked into the pharmacy of Brandon Regional Hospital as a volunteer two summers ago, I was astonished with the endless surplus of medications. There were cabinets, refrigerators, shelves, tables, bins, and carts containing thousands of medications ranging from pills to patches, creams to liquids and syringes to nose plungers. Gawking at this mind-boggling gallery of infinite drugs, I said to myself, "Gosh, who uses all these medicines?" I was soon to see.
In January 2010, my grandpa's brain tumor had returned. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor four years before and had undergone brain surgery and radiation to stop the tumor's progression. When I heard that he didn't have much time left, I began visiting him immediately after school. He would tell me funny stories about his childhood in Laos and about his travels around the world while I observed photos of a younger him. We watched Jerry Springer, sang karaoke to his favorite songs and tried playing checkers although he said that his brain didn't work anymore and didn't know how to play. I really enjoyed those afternoons.
As the months rolled by, I watched his short term memory deteriorate and his coordination slip away. Soon, Grandpa could not recall how to work his karaoke machine or even switch the TV channel. Once, he was heating soup on the stove and it boiled over. I told him that his soup was ready. He looked at me, slightly tilted his head, and said, " What Soup? I'm not hungry" and toddled out of the kitchen. His hair began to fall out and he stumbled without a cane. Watching this happen was heartbreaking- there was nothing I or anyone could do to help. He was the strongest, most independent person in my family; I prayed that he would overcome the tumor like he did before.
Grandpa suddenly passed away in June. He was taken to the ICU at Brandon Regional Hospital, the day after my 17th birthday. I remember squeezing his hand, shouting and uselessly reminding him that he told me he was going to be okay. He didn't respond. He was gone. The room was silent except for my family's sobbing and the beeping of the life support monitor. Through my tears, I studied Grandpa's gentle, slumberous face. My mind drifted back to January when my mom said to me, "It doesn't look good...Spend time with Grandpa because we never know 'when'." "When" happened.
After this summer, I thought about how I questioned the necessity of the medications I saw in the pharmacy. I walked to Grandpa's house. On his kitchen counter were many different kinds of pills. In his fridge were liquid versions of the pills. I realized that without them, he would have left four years ago when he was first diagnosed. They helped sustain his life, giving me the chance to spend more time with him. I wiped my tears, whispered, "Bye, Grandpa" and walked home with a new perspective on life and a career in mind: pharmacy. I want to help prolong lives so that others will be able to spend more time with their loved ones as I did with my Grandpa. What I experienced this past summer has given me strength to carry on, providing me with a new goal and perspective on life.