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Quack-Quack This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Quack-Quack. It's 6: 15!!"

Another hateful morning begins with New York shock-jock radio host Don Imus and his roll-call. Then a bad imitation of Rush Limbaugh presents itself, commenting on the Rodney King trials or the Whitewater scandal. However, at 6: 15, none of this makes sense. Despite my parents' attempt to shield me, I still feel the pain of my grandmother's illness. Sometimes things are unfair, and I'm trying to understand how people deal with their situations.

Every day seemed to get harder since my grandparents moved in with us. My grandmother has Alzheimer's, and my grandfather couldn't deal with it. My mother has to care for her mother, and my father is frustrated with the situation. This was all confusing for me: I withdrew from the family as much as possible.

Although everyone has been trying to be noble, it has placed a strain on us. Because of this situation, I lost part of my high school experience. For two years, my grandmother's disease not only debilitated her but crushed my family.

Living with this has not been easy for me. I tried to do the "right thing"- have compassion for my grandmother and be supportive of my folks, but this was no easy task. I was not completely successful so I tried to become more involved in my school community. I didn't realize how healthy a choice it was at first, but it saved my sanity and gave me a wealth of experiences where I grew as a person. I welcomed the challenge because it gave me a chance to strengthen my character and help my family. My choice of adapting has given me a greater sense of independence and focus to my life.

So, as Don Imus quacks away with his poor imitations of current events, I focus on living and making the most of my world. In doing so I've learned I not only help myself but also my family. -


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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