At a young age I understood death more than I understood life. That is a concept that not a lot of people can get. I’m still figuring it out but at least it’s not something people hid from me. I knew death was a bad thing, and living had its challenges but it is worth living than dying any day. Growing up I thought I had a good life and I was taught to love life for what it is.

As a really young child I knew what a close family felt like and I still do. I appreciated nature and the stars in the sky. I had the feeling of love from family and not everybody gets that. I knew how to care for people and listen to every word they say but also be able to put my input in whatever I’m talking about. I found enjoyment in a lot of family activities.

I am now 14.  Things have changed so tremendously from when I was younger to now there was times I didn’t know what to do with my life and I have experiences that have changed me for the good. Instead of describing it maybe I should just tell you guys. This is part of my story and it needs to be shared.

Ever since I was little my mom was sick with her disease and my dad soon got depressed. There was a lot on his plate. He had 3 kids and a wife that was sick and he always worked. When my dad worked I would hang out with my mom in room and take care of her and I did this ever since I was 5 years of age. And when my dad got home I would usually be asleep or waiting for him because I have a very close bond with my dad and I would tell him everything on my mind.

Skipping ahead to when I was 11…there were a lot of things going on and that ended up being the worst day of my life, well one of them. Well that day I wasn’t feeling good and a argument with my aunt and dad had happened.  I overheard something like I would be in foster care if my dad didn’t fix this problem. I cried at this because I didn’t ever want to be in foster care and I wanted the problem to be solved so my dad would get better. Well my dad told me and my one brother to come over and while this was happening my older brother was at work. We all cried together and little did I know what I was about to hear were his last words to anyone. He says he loved me and never forget that.  That meant so much to me because sometimes I would get upset and think he didn’t love or care for me, but I realize now that that wasn’t it.  So at that moment all I said was I love you daddy and we just hugged all three of us. Things just got worst from there. After my dad said what he wanted he left the house to go to the garage. I thought he was just going for a walk to cool off. My dad and I were the same in that way that when we got upset we just needed space and time to ourselves to calm down.  We gave him a few to calm down and finally me and my brother thought he was taking longer than planned so I stayed inside and waited while my brother went to check on him

Right when my brother went out I knew something was wrong. While my brother was about to walk he heard a gunshot. I didn’t hear it but it’s now one of those things I don’t like hearing. My brother was crying and I never see him cry and I didn’t know what happened and then he came and got his phone calling 911 and told me to pack my things and so I packed because I knew I had to at that moment and I realized things were about to happen at a fast rate. To speed this story up what had happened was everybody from the neighborhood and cops and a lot more of people were there and they asked my brothers questions and I still didn’t know what happened.  All I knew was it was bad.  My neighbor that my family was really close friends with was there and I remembering asking her what happened to my dad.

I just kept asking where he was and nobody would tell me.  She just hugged me and started to cry, then took a second to breath. She told me that my dad committed suicide and shot himself.  When she told me that I cried and screamed at the same time and I just couldn’t believe what just happened. Also, my mom was so sick we needed to call an ambulance that day to get her in a hospital because we couldn’t take care of her.  The funeral happened a few days later and then my birthday about a week after that.  My mom went to a funeral home after a little while. During the time she was there I was in foster care and it was the worst and everybody was just really strict. I felt alone. About 6 months after my dad’s death I came to visit with my mom and I would do this as often as possible. This one time was different from the others and I just knew it was the last time I would ever see her. I was there with my brothers and I just looked at her and I knew she was gone. I think her soul passed before her physical body did. I told her I loved her so much and I told her my mind that she can let go and I knew she was. We finally left there and two days after that she had passed. These were the two worst things in my life and I knew some things we coming. For example, when I was just learning what suicide was I asked my dad why people would do it and he said it was because they feel there’s no other way.  I then asked him if he would ever do that and he said I don’t know and I asked him if he would see me graduate or walk me down the aisle when I get married and he told me he would love to but he didn’t think he would be there.  There were always signs but I just didn’t know it.  My mom was always sick, so I always saw the signs for that.  These tragedies felt like my life was crumbling. But here’s where the story changes.  My life just happened to have some obstacles but I learned a lot and I’m stronger than before. Things are way better now.

I’m not saying my whole story in this, but I am going to tell you how I look at my life differently. I don’t regret life and every day is another day I’m living for my parents.  I learned how to be strong and how to speak up.  I used to let people push me around and I was always shy and then I realized I needed to speak my mind in order for people to listen to me, and like I said before I know how to enjoy life for what it is. I’ve become more accepting and sympathetic to others. I’m proud of what I’m doing for my parents.  I saw two pictures with writing on them and they spoke out to me and they made me realize it’s okay for things to not go as planned because maybe there’s something more in store.


By:  Ashley