It was different because the person who always dropped me off at school on my first day was not with me, “my father. ” My father could not be with me because he had just started getting sick. He had some problems with his liver. His body threw away the proteins as well his blood. I remember the first time he threw up blood; that moment my mom became very worried, and nervous. I was just 13 years old when this incident happened and it was just a few days before I started my first day of middle school. During this time, we had our first visit to the hospital, and most of the visits to the hospital were for blood transfusions.
After three years, when I graduated from middle school and my father was a little bit better, I decided to move to San Benito to start high school. I lived in San Benito with my father’s brother, Jose, for just six weeks because I had some problems with my relatives, so I moved to Brownsville. There I lived with my father’s sister my aunt Laura. It was more difficult to make a drastic change in less than two months. I had to adapt to Brownsville. They were two different towns and it took me more time to adapt to living without my parents and my two brothers; I lived with my uncle and my aunt because my parents are not U.
S. citizens and they did not have a visa. School in San Benito was easier for me; in contrast, Brownsville’s schools were more difficult. It was weird that people in San Benito spoke Spanish. While on the other hand Brownsville spoke English, even though it is closer to Mexico than San Benito. In the end, it helped me a lot because I do not know all the English language very well, but what I know it’s thanks to that. I just lived for eight months with my aunt Laura. So the following three years of High School, I stared to cross the bridge every single day.
Before I got back to school from summer vacation I started noticing that my dad was feeling sick again, and I heard my mom crying and saying that my dad had cancer. I was not supposed to know this, but I was behind the door. At the beginning of 2007, my father started complaining about a pain in his coccyx. When my dad went to the doctor, he told the doctor that he felt something was hurting him in his back. The doctor did not pay too much attention to that but every time that my dad went to see him, he said the same information.
My dad started attending some therapies in order to take away the pain; unfortunately they were in vain because we started noticing that the cancer had increased, and he was getting sicker every day. That year my summer was too long and very exhausting because my dad was in the hospital for almost two months. He went into surgery for his pain in his coccyx, but after the operation, he said that he felt pain in one of his legs, which we thought that was produced by the surgery. When he got out of the hospital, he could not walk or sit down anymore. All he could do was just lay in bed.
It changed our lives tremendously. My senior year in school began. I just had to pass the science section of the test. At this time I had to divide my time into my personal time, taking care of my dad, doing homework, and helping my mom in the store and cleaning the house. I almost went insane; I did not have a life. When time for TAKS came around, it was peculiar that my dad got in critical conditions but just in the day that I had to take the Science one. I even thought that my dad had to die in order for me to pass my test; ironically it became true.
As days passed by, I got tired from crossing the bridge. When I am talking about crossing the bridge every single day a person whose does not have a life like mine can not imagine what it is like to really wait in a line of at least one hour. I have to wake up early in the morning, and the weather sometimes was cloudy, rainy, windy, or cold. Besides all this, I had to take the city bus to get to school. It was fine for me but sometimes the bus was late or if the bus broke down they took us in a van but the problem was that they gave preference to the elderly instead of the students.
It is a chaos to have or to live a situation like this. In September, my father had his first encephalopathy: he was in a comma, but had no ventilator. He was in that critical state just for a week the first time. The day that he woke up, my nephew was born, and he did not remember anything except that. During the Thanksgiving holiday, the situation in my house became more intensive. My dad was in his last phase. One day before Thanksgiving, he entered his second and last encephalopathy and never woke again. The last word that he yelled was “Manue,” my mom’s name, and he went in again into a critical state.
I felt that my world and my life were going down; I felt sadness, fear, and hopelessness, etc. On Saturday, the priest came and put Holy Oils on my father. After that my mom said that my dad could die at any moment; she said I had to be prepared for whatever was going to happen. I started to pray in front of his bed and I said “Dear God: I’m very thankful to you because you gave me the most wonderful father that a girl can have. If it is your decision to take my father with you, I will accept it. I know it will be difficult but I know you’ll never let me give up.
Amen” That night was the longest night I ever had; I kissed my father for the last time. The next day was Sunday; my family started arriving to my house because we saw that my father was in his last stage and that at any moment he could die. At 10 A. M. he was had some convulsions my mom, my brothers and I started to pray; at 11:25 A. M. he died in my house. I dropped myself into his body and I stared crying and saying “Porque te lo llevaste? ”(Why did you take him? ). I could not believe that my dad had gone. I felt that everything would not be the same, that my life would stop in all senses.
During the funeral I always thought that it was easy to receive the condolence; but the reality was the opposite. The thoughts that passed through my mind in that time was that my dad was on a trip and that he would be back soon. When I got near to the coffin I realize that it was true that he died. In the funeral I never cried. I contained the desire to cry. After the funeral passed I did not want to return to school because I thought that it did not have sense to continue with my future if my dad was not with me supporting me.
After a week, I returned to school. I had to go back to my life even though my heart was bleeding and felt empty. I passed my TAKS, exactly like I said it would happen; my father had to die in order for me to pass and graduate from High School. It was difficult to handle but I had to learn to live with this pain in my heart and make myself the idea that he is in a better place, without pain, where there is no suffering, that he is in the God’s hands. I passed all my classes and in June 9th, 2008 I graduated from High School.
That day was one of the most important in my life and I know that my dad feels proud of me. In the Fall I stared college and now I am in my second semester. Now I understand that I was wrong when I thought that my life had to stop. Now my dad is my motivation to continue with my studies, my career and my life. Thank you daddy!! This experience helped me mature as a person. My father will always be my motivation, even though I still dream with that important day. I know that if I get married my dad will be with me inside of my heart walking down the aisle as if he were by my side holding my arm.