It’s Okay to Let Go

Arielle - Orchard Park, New York
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I wouldn’t say my childhood was “perfect.” Then again perfect doesn’t really exist. I have endured more emotional stress in my childhood that even some adults haven’t faced.

When my brother was born I was two years old. My mom was then diagnosed with the disease called Lupus. The short definition of lupus is that it is a disease that attacks your immune system. This means that say mom my catches the flu she gets it twenty times worse than you or me. I really didn’t understand it at the time, and I didn’t think it was a big deal. I just thought mommy was sick. But mommy wasn’t getting better. Soon my mom had gotten so sick that she had to quit nursing and soon learned that she couldn’t go back.

I now know today that it kills my mom that she can not work to help support our family; and that it all lies on the shoulders of my dad. But my mom never shows it. I wish she knew that me and my brother are happy the way things are and that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy.

Now let’s jump to when I was in the fifth grade. My mom was getting worse by the day. It felt like I was taking over as “mom,” I was now helping my dad take care of my mom, brother, and the house hold deeds that needed to be done. I did the best to help my dad, because I knew he needed it. My mom had been having seizures and was throwing up everyday. This was the worst Lupus flare she has ever been through. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her.

It was the night of my Girl Scouts pot luck dinner, my mom was too sick to go so just my brother, dad, and I went. When we left I had a bad feeling but I didn’t think anything of it. When we all came home and walked through the front door my world and heart stopped. My mom was lying on the bathroom floor blood around her and she was seizing. I couldn’t cry. I felt as though I had to stay strong to help my brother and my dad. I kept calm and called 911. I never cried, I kept it all bottled up inside me. I felt that is what I was supposed to do, I felt I had to be an adult.

She was in the hospital for a very long time, it felt like ages. My mom kept seizing and was getting worse. I should have just let go of being “strong” and showed how scared and upset I was. Soon my mom was taken to the Rochester Memorial Hospital. She was finally getting better. I remember my dad telling us that “Mom’s fine now, they found the problem. She’s coming home!” I was so happy when those words came out of his mouth.

I believe that I should’ve showed my fear, my tears, I should have known that it was okay to be weak at a time like this. You don’t always have to be strong; sometimes you should show how you are really feeling. It makes things a lot less painful.