This I Believe

Candice - Casa Grande, Arizona
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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How do you keep going when giving up seems so much easier? A couple of weeks into my senior year of high school my best friend told me she had cancer. I cried I was scared for her, I thought I was going to lose my best friend. One too many people in my family have died from cancer, I couldn’t lose her. That year my world seemed to be coming to an end or so I thought, therefore I believe everything happens for a reason.

That was the start of my senior year of high school, that wasn’t all that happened though it gets even better several months into the school year.

My mom is to appear in court on a Thursday morning in the middle of January, I skipped school that day to go with her. We walk into the courtroom that is filled with people awaiting their sentence. Her advocate is already there defending another client, so we take a seat and wait. I remember her holding my hand and thinking what’s going to happen to her? The sound my mom’s name being called by the judge was the scariest thing I’ve heard, it was like she was being called to recieve a death sentence. I don’t remember exactly what it was she was charged with but it had to do with drugs. She had to serve six months; six months at first didn’t seem like a long time but it felt like a decade.

Being the second eldest of eight and the oldest girl the duty to look after your siblings automatically falls upon you, well in my case it does. For six months I had to figure out how I was going to pay the bills, put food on the table and figure out how I was going to take care of my eight month old baby sister while going to school. Luckily my aunt decided to help with her, she stayed home and took care of her while we all went to school. I had just turned eighteen so I would be getting my per capita from the tribe soon. Six thousand dollars was what I recieved, the money was good for a while till finally we ran out. The only other income we had coming in was child support I still recieved from my dad and survivors benefits one of my sisters recieved, together every month it still wasn’t enough. When we needed anything my grandma would help out a bit, but still we were barely able to keep our heads above water. Up until my mom went in we were all doing good and still were even afterward, for a while. My little brother started getting in fights at school and my sister decides she wants to drop out a couple of months before school was out, I didn’t know how to deal with them talking to them did no good. Things became even harder when my baby sister had gotten sick with pneumonia, during that time school wasn’t important anymore I was about ready to drop out.

However, I continued although I barely made it I did graduate. Leah survived the cancer, my siblings and I made it through a tough time we struggled a lot but we made it. There were times when I felt like giving up but I’ve been told giving up would be admitting you failed and that wasn’t an option, not for me.

I believe everything happens for a reason, reason being for this to happen to me, I don’t know yet. Maybe in a year or two maybe ten years from now when I’m able to look back and how it has shaped my life, then I’ll know the reason for it all. I think one way to keep going is when you know that what you are moving forward to is worth all the struggles and the sacrifice, for us it was looking forward to having our mom home again.