This I Believe

Jessica - Los Angeles, California
Entered on June 19, 2007

I believe that pain and suffering make us stronger. When someone receives painful news, or breaks their leg; all that pain we which we feel in that moment will later spread and hopefully become wisdom. I believe that no matter how hard life becomes for you, one can always stand up and say “I’m okay.”

A couple of years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on the day of my fifteenth birthday. In that one moment, I had so many feelings rushing through my body all at once. I was scared, angry, nervous, and just confused. I could not believe that my nana would be leaving me sooner than later. It was tough. I was affected by the news but my dad was worse share. He would completely shut us out of his thoughts and feelings. My father has never been someone to speak about his feelings, but he had become a complete stranger. There were days where he would try to ease the pain by drinking and would say, “That’s it we’re loosing her.” Seeing he this way not only broke my heart, it broke me. I wanted to stop it all and just make her all better.

During the summer, I decided to head to Mexico and see her for one last time. While I was there, she was in such good shape. I had the sensation of her being okay and not leaving. Before I headed back, I told my nana to wait for me and that I would return on Christmas so I could dye her hair. She told me she would be there and to remember to take the hair dye. Unfortunately, she left a month before I returned.

The night of November 13, 2005 was the worse one I ever experienced. I was washing dishes and my mother’s sister and family were visiting. We received a call and once my mother answered and looked at me, I knew my grandmother had left us. It was horrible; I could not breathe and all I could do was the tears streaming down my eyes. My brain (and I as a whole) could not function. Even worse, I did not know how to make my father, her son, feel better. I did not want him to cry or feel guilty for the fact that he was not able to say his last good byes.

The following months were a bottomless pit. I did not care about school and my grades were reflecting it. I had become unreachable. I would just lay in my bed and wonder what I had done wrong, if there was any way in which I could have saved her from having that painful death.

To this day, it is still a touchy subject for my father and me. We are still in the process of healing, and it might take years. I’m not rushing it, because it proves to others myself, that a family’s bond is really hard to break When I’m older, I’ll be able to look back at this and realize that it has made me a stronger being as a whole. If I survived loosing my nana, then I can survive anything. Malcolm X once said “Stumbling isn’t falling” and I believe that, in a way, I’m living proof of it.