Cody Hartle – Grade 10 Mrs. Amberg – Lesson #7
ELA -“Doors to Stories”
Gouverneur High School
“The Last Goodbye”
She gave birth to a little girl at St. Jude Hospital on August 14th, 2007 in Maine. The girls’ mother was Kara Lancto, a 24 year old super market grocer and her dad, Jack, was called to service in Afghanistan three months prior to her birth. The day Jack left, the last conversation they had was focused on the child to be. “What if I never see her face, or what if something goes wrong, and I can’t be here to help you?” Jack asked. Kara looked down, then back up with a sad face that also showed stress and nervousness, but she held back the tears. She smiled while saying in a joking manner, “Don’t worry! The baby will be fine and when you get back, maybe we can get ice cream.” They hugged and off he went to serve his country while Kara waited for the arrival of the baby.
When the baby was born, she wanted to name her after her grandmother. Her name was Amy. The first few weeks were rough. No one to wake up with or have to help with Amy, but after the next few days it seemed normal and it was like a routine to her.
When Amy was about six months old, Kara started to notice some problems. Whenever someone called her name or said hi to her, she acted like no one was there. Kara took her to the hospital where she was examined, and although she looked fine, the doctors said otherwise. Kara was told her daughter was deaf and would never be able to hear or speak.
This was not the first person in the family to have hearing problems. Her mother-in-law wasn’t legally deaf, but since she was young she could barely hear at all. When Amy turned three, her mother took her to the store to get some birthday cake, but something else caught Amy’s eye. There was a box of little plastic dolls that she apparently wanted more than anything. Kara bought them not realizing that Amy wouldn’t be able to pass a doll without wanting more. She loved dolls more than anything in the world! For all she knew, they were her best friends. They would do what she wanted, since she controlled them. All she did was play with her dolls.
A few months later, Kara needed to find a sign language teacher so that Kara could go to school. Amy started school at four years old and didn’t like the other kids. She would carry her dolls and only be with them and nobody else. She didn’t know how to make friends. She went all year with her dolls and for that reason did not interact with anyone. This was a concern to her teacher, but Kara did not have a problem with it.
On December 3, 2011 a letter arrived in the mail from the military branch Jack was enlisted in. Kara wasn’t sure if she wanted to open it, but since it was around Christmas, it was probably for Holiday Greetings. She opened the letter and everything stopped. She fell to her knees and ripped the letter, not wanting to believe what it said. The letter contained news of her husband, news no one wants to hear. The letter told her that Jack had suffered multiple shots to the chest and that they couldn’t get him to safety in time.
That night and the days to follow were rough. She watched Amy play with her dolls, smiling and trying not to show any signs that something had happened. People would look at Kara and Amy with pity. They would stop her and ask how she could stand to be without a husband and with a disabled child. She would simply reply, “It is easy. Amy is a normal child who just can’t hear. Yes, my husband is never coming back, but we all have to move along in life.” Kara got a lot of credit for this.
When Amy started Kindergarten, the school was a block away from them. Kara let Amy walk back and forth to school. The only concern was that Amy had to cross the street to get to her house, but she went every day, off to school with her dolls keeping her safe. Her sign language teacher, Mr. Crump, also was very nice and helped Amy a lot in Kindergarten and first grade.
On June 3, 2013, Kara went to work as usual and Amy went to school. Amy carried out her normal day with her dolls and learning more sign from Mr. Crump. After school, Amy walked home. She was holding her dolls and looking happy as could be. When she went to cross the road, she didn’t look both ways. She just crossed quickly to get home faster. What she couldn’t hear was a big, yellow bus coming her way. The driver of the bus didn’t know she was deaf and pressed the horn while slamming on the brakes. It was too late.
Kara got a call at work about the accident, but she didn’t answer because her phone was off. When she arrived home, she knew something was wrong. There were police cars and ambulances surrounding a yellow bus with a little blood on the front. Kara ran and saw a little body covered in a blanket, lying motionless. She touched her hands and face and they were cold. There was no beating in her heart. Kara began to bawl and picked Kara up, screaming and crying while looking at her baby. Amy was dead.
The one thing Kara had left was gone forever. Friends and coworkers came by to comfort her and to help her. The funeral was a week later. Amy’s teachers and relatives came to mourn her death. Everyone came back to the house to help Kara pack Amy’s dolls and her room. Five boxes of dolls, two boxes of clothing, her bed and furniture all got packed. Everything was taken away to storage forever.
That night, Kara had a nightmare that she was the driver that hit Amy and that the blood filled the bus. When she got out, she saw Amy standing there screaming. Blood was dripping from her eyes. Amy spoke and told her mother that it was all Kara’s fault. Kara woke up panting and sweating. The memory of the nightmare made her run to the bathroom and puke.
The next morning she went to the doctors to get stress and depression medication. It didn’t help though. She was at 300mg, the highest that she could take. The dreams and thoughts kept coming back to her. She couldn’t take it anymore, for she had lost everything. Her child, husband and her sanity were gone forever.
Kara overdosed by taking all of her pills at once. She wanted to have it be all over. This was all she could do. She passed out, never to wake up again. Kara was a 30 year old widow and ex-mother. She died of an overdose on June 20, 2013 at 11:39 p.m.
People say it was a waste of life, but she was now with her family again in heaven. Before Kara died she wrote a letter. It read:
“I am sorry that I am doing this. You all don’t and won’t understand how I feel and what my pain is! I don’t want everything to end like this, but what am I supposed to do? I have lost EVERYTHING in my life. You should all be thankful for what you have. I never even got to say goodbye. Don’t take life for granted and treat every moment like it is going to be your last or your kid’s last. The most important things can be gone in an instant.”
Kara never said goodbye to anyone. She didn’t want anyone to stop her. She is gone but never forgotten and her story and her family are loved and pitied by many to this day.