As I was looking at family albums and writing graduation invitations, I began to reflect back on my life. As I was dotting the “i” s and “t” s, I remembered a saying I used to tell myself: “Never regret the past, but remember where you are heading.”
When I would tell myself this, I would automatically let out a sigh, or think of any possible explanation why I would want to remember the past. My past was quite unusual for a child. When I was five years old, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. It was usual for me to see my mother coughing, taking shots, and see her lying helplessly in bed. We even had to take her to the hospital in Washington, D.C. on a weekly basis.
Up until I was eight years old, I was oblivious to my mother’s disease. I thought it was just a common procedure for my mother to get ill. Also, it wasn’t until then that my father explained to me that my sister is mentally challenged. He told me that she is mentally around the age of nine years old and that one day it will be my complete responsibility to take care of her. One devastating day came, and unexpectedly, my mother passed away on May 31, 1999.
Looking at my mother’s grey casket, I let out soft, wet tears from my eyes. As I became mesmerized by her black flowered dress, I realized how difficult it was for me to bear the truth. The truth entailed that my mother was never coming back and that she was gone for eternity. Also, knowing the fact that I will live the rest of my life from now until the day I die without her, and that it will by my complete responsibility to take care of my mentally challenged sister. Being nine years old then, I knew that I had a whole life ahead of me left to live.
I believe that no matter what circumstances God gives you or takes away from you, it is what you make of your life that counts. Even today, without my mother being a part of my life, I have made her a part of my life through my heart. She has given me the inspiration and drive to succeed in whatever life brings. She gave me a heart from seeing her strive against her illness without complaining. I have even found my sister to be a joyous bundle of light that God has given me as a gift. My sister shows me how appreciative I should me with my life and how happy a person can be not being perfect.
Within the next two weeks, I will complete my high school education and I will close a chapter of life. Within this chapter, I have learned to make do with the circumstances God has given and taken away from me. I am eager and excited to start a new journey.