Finally arriving back home, from yet another awful visitation day spent with my father, I saw there lying in bed sick, my wonderful mother. I was so happy to be home, yet so sad to see my mother in her last days of life. I walked in gave her a hug and a kiss, and at that time did not think about her leaving this earth anytime soon. I ate food my aunt had made and began to play the Wii.
I’m into my game of tennis, when I hear the nurse calling for my grandma, aunt, and cousin. I was twelve at the time, thought nothing about it, until… I hear my aunt screaming in tears. She is saying “Se Fue” meaning “She is gone”. I stopped playing for a quick second, a lot is going through my mind, what do I think, is she really gone? I try to rush into the room, but my family members won’t let me in, they do not want me to see what had just happened. Although they pulled me away, I still managed to see my mother there lying in bed with her eyes closed looking so peaceful. At the moment I knew for sure that she was gone, but she left happily with no more pain, no more suffering. My cousin then pulled my sister and me aside to explain the situation. We were so young at the time, maybe she thought saying it a different way would help us understand. Although my family may have not known, I already knew my mother had cancer and was in her last months of life. See my family, they can’t be as quiet as they think they can. I heard them talking about my mother’s illness when they thought I was sound asleep in bed. I myself choose not to believe what they were saying. I was hoping it was all a lie, but then I saw her getting worse and worse and then I knew for sure one day she would leave me. And it was that Saturday, the day I came back home from visitation hours with my father. Sometimes I sit there and wonder, did she wait for me to get back home before leaving me for good. Was that Gods intentions? That I may never know, but it is something I keep in the back of my mind.
Within the past month after my mother left, a lot had been happening. From changing schools three times, trying to make new friends, adjusting to a new home, and wondering if I would stay at that home or if my father would win custody. That is a lot of strain for a twelve year old to go through. I did not fit in anywhere with anyone. My life was different; everyone seemed to have a normal happy life with both loving parents, while I had a dead mother and a father that was never there. I eventually fell into the wrong crowd of people. At that time gang bagging was just about it for kids like me. So that is what I got in to. I hung out with gang bangers… look at me. Claimed a gang so hard, it changed my life around. I put myself and family in danger and did not even think about the consequences. I remember one day getting off the bus from a long boring day in school. I was wearing the wrong colors at the wrong time. Someone from another gang started gang calling. I was so terrified I thought I was going to get jumped, maybe even killed. While that person was gang calling, I looked forward and did not try to find them. I walked as if I had no idea what was happening. Because in reality, I should have not known what gang calling was about. My mother raised a sweet innocent girl, harmless to the world. But once she passed away, my whole life just vanished; it left like it never existed.
After that day, my mind had changed a little bit, but not enough to change my mind completely around. I talked to older boys, especially those who lived the life like me; claiming in the same gang. We had so much in common I felt like those guys were family to me. But one day, my older cousin found out about what I have been getting myself into. She was a juvenile probation officer at the time, and as a consequence I had to go to court hearings with her to see what that “gangster” life was really about. And even more embarrassing, she had my teacher talk to me about talking to those older boys after school. After a couple of visits in court and after talking to teachers and counselors it just hit me. What I am doing? If my mother were still alive I would not been acting in this way. This is not who I really am. I a good person, a good student. There are actually people who care about me. Who care about my well-being. My mother may have left, but I’m still here in this world. I have to get back on track and get my life together. And so I did.
After about a year and a half of rebelling, I became the person who I once was. I left the streets and got my head back into school. High School wasn’t the best, I struggled, but I got through it. I graduated; something I never saw happening. I went further in education; I am now a junior at a great University. At times I think about my story and it gets to me. I am the first generation in my family to go to college. The first to let the past behind and continue with my life in the best ways possible. I may struggle financially to get through my days, but I do what is needed to accomplish my goals; to make a better future for myself. This is my story… my past will not determine who I become.