It was April 1, 2005, just after my mom’s thirty eighth birthday. We had our usual family dinner with hugs, kisses, presents, and the entire family being annoyed that we had to come together for yet another birthday. I came in the house through our garage that smelled of old tools and paint just like it did when I was younger at my grandfather’s house when I heard the phone cry. Yes, I mean cry! Never once did I hear it ring just my mom leaning against the counter with her head bent down crying. I didn’t know what had happened. I thought to myself as I was sitting on the living room sofa that it must be something horrible because my whole childhood I had never seen my mom cry. She hung up the phone with her last words stating, “We will be there in four days. Syd and I will drive.”
Syd, which was me, short for Sydney the average fourteen year old girl who went to middle school, lived in Surprise and knew everybody and their mom. As my mom threw the phone on the counter as if she wished she had never answered, she gathered herself together and told me, “Your grandpa passed away this morning around 10:00. I sat down. Words couldn’t come out of my mouth, and tears weren’t rolling down my cheeks. Maybe it was because I knew it was coming. My grandpa had been sick for the past few months and his kidneys were giving in. I saw him at Christmas time just a few months prior to his death and knew that it was going to be my last. Lying there on the hospital bed and not being able to give me the firm hug he used to I knew it was a sign of something good in my life about to end.
Most of my families concerns were for my grandma. How was she? Was she taking it all in ok? How was she feeling? We drove out to Bakersfeild, California three days later. We attended his funeral, and I had never seen so many sad faces in my life. Heads were down, tears were rolling down faces I never thought to see cry, there was a tissue box being passed around, that by the time it reached me there weren’t any left. It was the first death in the family that I experienced and I could do nothing but cry. I sat next to my grandma and stared at her. Her face fell to her chest and I cried some more.
A month had gone by and I decided to give her a call. The rest of the family was moving on from it and their lives had seemed to be ok, but how was my grandma? The phone rang. “HELLO!” I thought I might have had the wrong number because here was this bright sounding old lady who answered the phone sounding relieved. Her voice brought on a relief from stress, heartache, and death. I asked her how she was doing and she told me she had been working out, making new friends with the neighbors, and taking swim classes.
I thought to myself this must be faith kicking in. it was as if a new woman had came inside of her and brought her to her feet, picked up her shoulders and widened her smile. Some may call it giving it time, but I call it faith.
Having faith has come around once in my life. This wasn’t the typical faith that first comes to the average mind such as, having faith in God or believing in God. This was the faith that if you believe in good, wellness, and staying strong faith will bring you to happiness and relief. This faith brought peace to my family and my heart. It made me understand and realize that no matter what struggles, and obstacles you may encounter in your life, if you have faith in yourself, you can accomplish anything that comes to you.