Many mothers and even my own would say the worse thing to witness is to watch their child face a battle so far over their heads its casts a shadow on the glistening sparkle of hope in their eye. Watching life just sweep them off their efeet and whisk them away while exposing them to the inevitable and things that would burden them for the next days to come.
I never really knew or accepted what fate was. I knew I lived in this reality day by day where things happened; people reacted and then moved on. But it wasn’t till I grew older till I realized what the weight of that reality really was. Nothing was a playground anymore, I could no longer pretend to be naïve and I had to accept life as it was thrown at me. That was the biggest challenge of all; trying to accept something that I barely understood in the first place, that some days were worse than others and you have to stick it out in order for things to get better. These challenges tested my composure, my strength and my will to open my eyes each morning.
About six years ago, I was faced with one of the biggest challenges yet, the tragic death of my grandfather. That morning I was awoken by a startling commotion going on downstairs and a piercing, devastating scream. I made my way down the stairs, still chilled by the morning breeze and as I turned the corner to enter the living room, my life changed.
Today was the day, today was Palm Sunday 2002. The day Arthur Derderian had been asking for all year. I frantically tried to register the image that was laid before my eyes of my father desperately trying to revive his soon to be lifeless body of my grandfather. Soon after, an ambulance and the police arrived at my home. Nothing anyone said registered; all they got was a blank stare of a twelve year old girl who was trying to convince herself that today was just another rough day, like the many she had faced the years before.
Hours after, after the house had emptied and all was calm, the phone rang. At that moment, I knew he was gone, I knew that that morning actually did happen and that I was now living in the real time reality and the hard times just began and a whole new battle had just begun. Everyone loses a loved one; everyone has a bad day, things change in the blink of an eye. There was no escaping this reality and in that moment, I realized I couldn’t fight this situation. This change was inevitable and bound to happen no matter how hard I tried to resist it. And I tried to begin to accept life as it was, know that everything happens for a reason, and let change just happen.
My mother would always tell me that times like these tend to get worse before they get better and that every man at some point in his life fights a battle just to open his eyes and get out of bed in the morning to show me I was not fighting this battle alone. She would also tell me that that feeling doesn’t last forever, these times change and tomorrows a new day. As she whispered those words into my ear that night, I believed her.