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The Girl Who Changed a Life
Melanie, Age 13, Logan, OH

She lay there in the hospital bed not knowing what was to happen next. As her family waited by bedside with tears running down their cheeks, the doctor came in. He said that he was so sorry to say this, but Grace had been diagnosed with cancer. Nobody knew what to think as their daughter, sister, niece, and/or cousin lay there dying. The worst part was that they couldn't do anything to help her.

Grace announced that she wanted to speak with her brother, James. James was different from Grace in many ways. He was terrible in school, did drugs and drank, and had no plans of doing anything with his life. James was in awe as he heard his sister say that she wanted to speak with him. As everyone exited the room, Grace didn't know exactly what she was going to say, but had an idea.

These are the words that Grace said to her brother: "James, come here, listen well and listen good. I know that I won't be here much longer, so I want to say a few things to you. No matter what happened, I always loved you. I want you to take this necklace and keep it forever and ever. When you see it and hold it, I will always be with you and/or a part of you."

The necklace was given to her when she was a little girl. So, therefore, it was a big deal to her and her brother. After she was done talking, everyone came back into the room. Everybody was telling her not to give up hope, to believe she could make it through this hard time. But in her mind she had total doubt about getting out of that hospital room alive.

As Grace took her last few breaths in the world, she was surrounded by family members. It was just like when she was born. When there was a loud beep and the monitor read blank, her mother screamed with anger and wept with sorrow along with everyone else in the room at the time. Everyone Grace knew said that she was a loving, careful girl who would be remembered forever and missed dearly. That day was a sad day in Virginia for many people.

Five Years Later

Mostly everyone was over the death of Grace. Her brother went through a serious depression. One day he was lying in bed, thinking about life. When he was digging through his closet, he found a box, but he couldn't remember where it came from. He sat on his bed staring blankly at what he had found.

When James opened the box, he found the necklace that Grace had given him. He had completely forgotten that he had it. All it took was two good looks at the necklace for him to realize what he had to do. That day he stopped drinking and doing drugs and also started to make future goals. But of course there was that one night that had to ruin it all.

He and his friends got really messed up one night. They went to the ocean's bay to have a huge party. James sat down and pulled the necklace out of his jeans pocket. He couldn't believe what he had done; he had gone against everything he wanted to do. He felt like he had betrayed Grace in many ways. With all the guilt in his heart, he threw the silver heart necklace into the ocean. That night James was killed in a car accident with his five friends. Some say that maybe the family can be at peace now, but others say that it has been ruined forever.

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