“Live every Day like it’s your last”
“Hell no we won’t go.” That’s all you heard in the midst of everything. It was my sophomore year at Manual High school. I had had the best two years of my life. The year started off as a regular high school year, fights, arguments, drama and lots and lots of work. Little did I know that it would be the last year I would spend most of my time with my favorite teachers and best friends.
Manual High School students found out we were going to have to move to a new school, find new friends and reestablish ourselves. That’s when we decided to fight and have a riot for the love of our school, or should I say family because Manual was more then a school. It was like a second home, somewhere I could go and trust the staff and students to listen to what I had to say and also give me their best advice.
“HELL NO WE WONT GO.” We screamed as we circled the DPS building trying to fight for our school. I thought the harder we fought the more publicity we would get. I also thought that the community would support us more if they saw us fighting for our school. We did it to show people that we did care about our school. In tough times we could pull together and make things happen. The harder we fought the harder they got. Our student body came up with a proposal for Michael Bennit. “Let the freshman class graduate then close the school down.” But he got even tougher, saying they were going to close Manual my junior year instead of my senior year. This was a tough time for everyone at Manual High School. No one thought it would be this hard.
“Damn I really miss Manual,” As I take my first steps in George Washington High School. “Those are the Manual Students… (Laughter in the background) They are so dirty.” That’s what I heard for the first few weeks of school. No one liked us and that’s when I knew it was going to be the worst year of my life.
As the year went on and I started playing more sports it started to get better. My grades were good and I seemed to get use to George Washington. My best friend Chris asked me one day, “Why are you always mad?” To tell you the truth I didn’t have the answer.
“He’s dying; He’s dying.” that’s all I heard outside of my Spanish class. The whole room stood quiet as the teacher went to shut the door, but before he had the chance a young lady busted in crying in words no one could understand, I jumped out of my seat and started crying as well. It was my little sister, my brother had been in a car accident earlier that week. I knew that was what she was talking about. I grabbed my things in a hurry and ran out the room. As we walked down the hall tears wouldn’t stop falling. “Are you okay?” And “What’s wrong?” is all we heard down that long lonely hall. All they got was silence or maybe a little nod saying yes. Deep down inside my heart was torn in two. My brother was dying and I didn’t know what to do.
As we hopped in the car we could tell my mom was crying. We were going to go see him in Grand Junction. That was the longest drive I ever been on in my life just because the whole time I was thinking about him. When I first seen his face it made me cry even more. I tried to stay strong for my family but the more time he spent in the hospital the harder it got. I also knew the more time we spent up there the more my grades would suffer and the more work I had to do.
I knew my brother wanted me to be there for him. I know he would want me to do good in life and in school so I had to make the decision of either staying in Grand Junction until he got better or going back to school and trying to make up my grades. In the end I went back to school leaving my brother in Grand Junction with my mom and big sister. It was January 23rd when I left and a few days later on January 25th my brother was an angel of god.
As I lay my nephew down to bed he asked “Where is my daddy?” And also answering his own question saying “He is in heaven now huh…. He is one of god’s angels now.” That night I stayed up thinking about a life with out a father, no one to look up to or play with. My dad takes good care of him; they go to games and do everything they can together. Our family is now very close and nothing can break us up.
Although these are obviously two separate events that played a humongous part in my life, no one would guess or even no how much they affected me. As my teacher read over this and I struggled to find my philosophy it struck me. “I didn’t no you came from manual and the transformation was that hard.” He said as he read the first part of the story. “You are always so positive and happy.” He says realizing these events happened just this year. I guess this has enlightened me. I have been through the worst now I am trying to find the best. I look at life differently now. As my grandma use to tell me “Live everyday as if it’s your last. Don’t look back and don’t worry.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.