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Sweet Memories of a Grandfather: Carly's Story

Carly, 11, has experienced one of the saddest things a kid can go through: One of her grandparents died. Read her story about how she felt about her grandfather’s death and how she and her family remember him in a very sweet way. Then watch the slide show to see for yourself!

Ever since I was little I have had the security and love of a whole family with no pieces missing. I’m sure all of you have lost a loved one, ranging from a dear pet to a beloved family member. I myself have lost many cherished hamsters, but never in my childhood did I think I would lose a family member.

I have many family members; I even have two living great-grandparents and I also had four grandparents. All that changed in the beginning of 2002. At that time our family was astonished to find out that my grandfather on my Dad’s side of the family was found to have cancer. He suffered through 2 years of it. We did everything we could to help him enjoy a comfortable stay at the hospital, like we taped videos of my soccer games and visited him in Chicago on Halloween.

He fought all he could, but on the day of November 5, 2003, he passed away. At that time my parents were visiting him in Chicago, and my other grandparents from Virginia were watching us. Our parents came home early that visit. I still remember that day when they sat all of us down and told us the news. I felt a mix of emotions such as depression, loss, and emptiness. I ran outside into the crisp November air and cried silent tears, kneeling at my hamster’s grave under the bare cherry blossom tree.

Almost a year had passed and we were eating dinner at the dinner table when a discussion started about how we could help find a cure for cancer or make the lives of the many people who have it more enjoyable. My older sister Molly and I came up with the idea of selling our honey from our grandparents in Virginia’s hives. I came up with the name Hives for Lives and we started our business with the bees.

The business started by taking the honey from our bees and some beeswax. We left enough for the bees to survive through the winter. I only got stung once! After this we would go through the long process of spinning the honey, filtering the honey with three filters, and then putting the honey in a large tin heater and warming it until it was drippy and easily bottled in one of our glass jars. Then we would cap the newly filled jars and label them. We did this all by ourselves!

This year we added beeswax candles and lip balm of many flavors to the product line. While we were selling it at the events or stores, if a buyer had a question we would tell them the exact same story I just told you but with way less detail!

One year, we raised $2,000 for the American Cancer Society and all of it went to a camp for children who have cancer. Another year, with a few of our friends, Molly and I spent a lot of our time making beeswax candles and beeswax lip balm, and selling it. With a lot of help, we raised over $9,300!

I like to think that our grandfather is looking down at us with a smile. I learned many things from him such as to live life to its fullest, proper grammar, the love of literature, and to take risks in life. He died at the young age of 63.

We are put on this Earth to do well and to help those around us. We are all capable of that if we try.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2013

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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