This I Believe

Melanie - cypress, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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When I’ve lost everything, how am I supposed to believe in anything?

I often asked myself this. How could I be expected to believe in fairness, in truth, if none of that applied to me? But as life dealt each blow, and each time I recovered, I realized that life only provided one truth: it goes on. Time doesn’t stop when I am in the face of an adversity. Morning comes, followed by night.

At sixteen, my beliefs were tested. It all began last

July. Weeks before, my uncle suffered a stroke. He spent weekends at my home, so my mother could care for him. I never paid much attention to Uncle Jr. He was quiet, shy and we’d never had much of a conversation. One Sunday, he told me I used my phone too much and should consider a Bluetooth. I shrugged him off and went out with a friend. The next Wednesday, he passed away.

I cried two weeks straight. I wondered how life could go on missing a valuable member. I wrestled with this until I entered

August. Life had resumed a form of semi-normalness. My mother pretended to stop crying over the death of her brother and I finally accepted the world wasn’t going to stop and cry with my family and me.

At the same time, I realized my best friend wasn’t who I thought he was. Almost everything he’d said had been a lie. As if I, the person who he confided in for the past couple years, wasn’t worthy of the truth. Life seemed empty with a gaping hole in the center until I reached

October. When my uncle died, people said my grandmother wouldn’t last six months.

My grandmother, my Ita, only made it three.

I spent my birthday at the hospital, thinking she’d triumph over death like she did when she battled cancer. A week later, she died.

I couldn’t stop crying. She raised me as a child and had a strong influence in my upbringing. Now, she’ll never see me graduate from high school and go on to college; I’ll never get the chance to hold an entire conversation with her in her native Spanish, like I‘d always hoped.

I’ll never see her again, not for another sixty years.

But I still had to go to school. I still had to get an education so I could achieve my dreams which would make Ita proud. I went on, participating in extracurriculars, maintaining high grades, and here I am

Today. It’s been five months and I’d like to say life has gotten easier but it hasn’t. I still encounter many obstacles and while they haven’t been quite as dramatic, they’re still difficult to move past. But I do. Eventually, time goes by and I find myself getting better.

As my mother, the strongest woman I know, once said, “Life doesn’t end until you’re under the ground.”

Everything is never lost. There is always a life to be lived.