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Wishing for a better Change

Joined: 12/17/2015
Posts: 1
Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to do something important. I wanted to be the childhood figures I’d seen in cartoons, like Pocahontas. I wanted to be as caring and understanding as Snow White. I wanted to change lives like Mulan. When you’re a kid, everything seems easy, the world is at your feet, and you have this mindset that when you get older you can do anything. Now that I am older, nothing is simple, the world seems out of reach, and I know life isn’t boundless but has many limits. There are times when I wish I could be a kid again, if only for a few minutes. I could go back to the time when my parents sheltered me from the harsh realities you face growing up. I can remember the point in my life where I wasn’t a kid anymore, when a lot of things changed, and I gained perspective on life.

I was fourteen when I found out my Grandmother had cancer. My parents threw around big words like benign and malignant. My mind immediately went back to my eighth grade health class when we learned about our bodies and medical terms. The type of stuff I never thought would apply to me. The words benign or malignant meant either nothing to worry about or cancer. Knowing this at age fourteen was like getting a punch to the stomach.

The idea that my Grandmother could potentially have cancer seemed impossible. It wasn’t real to me. It became very real the day she had the Cancer spots removed. I remember I got to skip school and drive to the hospital with my family. As the doctor described what was going to happen to my Grandmother I had the impulse to cover my ears, close my eyes, and pretend it was all a bad dream. I told myself to be strong as my Grandmother headed back with a nurse to a place the rest of our family couldn’t go. I sat in the waiting room under bright fluorescent lights, crossing my fingers, hoping everything would be okay. I can still feel the goosebumps that covered my skin. After a few hours, it was all over. They had completely removed it, and everything went as planned.

When I finally saw my Grandmother, it was a relief, followed by a pain in my stomach. She was covered in bandages with a pale face and unfocused eyes. I had never seen my mother so weak and vulnerable. I was terrified. When we got home, there was a phone call. The Grandmother was malignant. My Grandmother had cancer.

The Cancer was rare, and in most cases, reappears or spreads to the Heart. I read all I could find online. I was so scared. With a busy father, mother and sister what would our family do without her? I knew my mom would fall apart. I knew I would have to hold everything together if she left our lives because there was nobody else. I would have to juggle all the pieces.

She wasn’t supposed to be left alone. Someone always had to be around in case something would happen. My father had to work to provide food and pay the bills. My sister, and I had school, but I volunteered to stay home. I skipped two weeks of school to watch over my Grandmother with my Mother. I was there to keep her company. I brought her tall glasses of water, along with her medication. I made her food and at night I slept in the living room with her. I was anxious that, at any minute, something would go wrong. Soon enough, she started to get her color back. She started getting up and was in less pain. She pulled through.

After the radiation and a few MRI’s, everything almost went back to normal. The thing is, when I went back to school, I didn’t care about it anymore. I became utterly apathetic in my classes. I’d just space out. On the nights I was supposed to be doing homework, I always found something else to do.

School became unimportant. I didn’t see the point anymore in trying. School was always the second priority. I barely scraped by but managed to score well on tests. Not only did I not try, but I stopped going to school as much. The amount of times I was absent made my guidance counselor’s mouth drop. I have spent my high school career messing around and not taking anything seriously. I didn’t set goals so that I wouldn’t disappoint myself. Now that it counts and it matters, I regret not taking the time to do my homework, or turn my projects in on time, because those little things could have greatly changed my chances of getting into a good college. The little decisions I made completely altered my chances of a college career.

I am not saying my high school existence was a complete waste. I did learn. I had great experiences as well as atrocious ones. I made mistakes and poor choices that I learned from, as well as good decisions that I am proud of. Life has its ups and downs. Through it all, I managed to make friends who I know will always be there and I am closer with my family than ever. I have achieved multiple JROTC awards. I have regrets that I know I can’t take back or change, so I focus on the present.

Right now, my focus is on getting into college; not only had to make a good future for myself, but for my Grandmother, to make her proud instead of disappointed.

All my life I have wanted that Cinderella happy ending, I have wanted to try on that glass slipper and have it fit perfectly. That’s what I am hoping for in college. I want a chance to help make the world a better place, the opportunity to make a difference, and the privilege of having more than a high school diploma.
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