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As I glared down at my mother's grave I couldn't help, but think of how life has changed since the last anniversary of her death. How I have become stronger and independent. I still remember how the pain of Dad's basic abandonment made my stomach churn at night. I look back at the last year and I am thankful that it is just a memory now.
On that April morning a year ago I was just begging for Dad to visit her with me, just hoping Dad would try to look back at the time Mom was alive instead of running away from the memories. See when the news of Mom's car accident came to his ears he just went straight to work. I barely even see his face now because when he isn't at the office (which is a hundred hours a week) he is planning for work on his laptop. Also when I mention Mom he walks away or just says 'Kyle, please don't'.
I wished things were like the way they were when Mom was still alive. We three were like the perfect little family. Mom was the joker in the family and she always looked on the bright side. We had a great mother-daughter bond and Dad was always saying we were like sisters. Although me and Mom were extremely close Dad was always there. He didn't always work insane hours. He actually was the perfect father; he was involved with school and asked questions about what was new in my life.
'Kyle, is that you?'
I turned around and saw Rachel. She has been my best friend since third grade. Rachel is a free spirit and is an optimist. Being blunt and straight forward is her thing, she doesn't care who she is talking to she will just say what she is thinking.
'Hey Rachel, I thought I would be seeing you here soon.'
My Mom's death hit Rachel really hard, her Mom and my mom were really close. Actually Rachel was more like the sister I never had.
'Yeah well I miss her too and if I wasn't here whose shoulder would you cry on because your Dad is off being a jerk.' She hesitated 'Your dad still hasn't shown up has he?'
'No, he has not shown up, which really isn't a shocker because he sometimes barely can look at me because I look like Mom so much.
I have Mom's dark brown hair, green eyes, and little nose. Actually when I looked at her high school yearbook (when I was unsuccessfully trying to get Dad to remember that Mom even existed) I thought I was looking at my yearbook for a moment. That used to be another joke of Dad's, he used to laugh and say that we were twins born twenty seven years apart.
'Stop that. Your Dad loves you; he is just being an a**. Don't start thinking that you have no parents because even if your Dad wasn't here you know that my Mom would be there.'
'Yeah I know. Rachel, do you think he will ever be able to go back to how things were, for the most part any way? And I don't mean he starts even recognizing that life can go on, I mean do you think he will be able to talk about her. Because I want to be able to talk and laugh about her and I want to stop feeling guilty for every time I say her name.' I took a deep breath trying to stop the sobs that were coming. 'Do you think I'm a horrible person because I'm not like Dad? Because I try to go on with life and sometimes I feel she might be mad at me because I still can wake up every day and go on without her.' That's when I broke down. I could feel the lump in my throat growing where it made me so that I couldn't speak another word. The tears rolled down my eyes clogging my vision so the only thing I saw were my eyelashes.
Rachel grabbed me put my head on her lap and said 'Kyle it is okay and your Mom isn't mad at you. She would want you to keep on living, if anything she would be proud of you for being brave and for trying to make things the best possible.'
I heard her speak but the words seemed like what she had to say. I mean wouldn't you want someone to be so devastated by your death that they couldn't go on without you, that if you were gone the reason for living was gone. I just didn't feel like that and I wish I felt the way Dad did.
'I don't think so. Maybe I should just end this pitiful life now.' I spoke these words, but I really didn't feel suicidal. I just wanted Dad to show up and hear these words and think he does have something to live for. I wanted Dad to recognize that he still has me and Mom wasn't the only thing worth living for.
'Damn it Kyle. I'm gonna be straight up front with you. You need to stop feeling like s*** because your dad doesn't show he cares. Do you realize how sad I would be if you killed yourself. You're my best friend and if you don't stop beating yourself down then I will slap you.'I couldn't help to laugh through the tears and I knew she was right. Just because Dad doesn't care doesn't mean I have nothing to live for.
I sat there my head on her lap just trying to calm down, but I have tried not to cry and all these built up tears kept on coming. I just tried to let it all out and get tough again. I needed to stop focusing on the past and future and start focusing on the present- one day at a time. I let one more tear escape my eye and said that would be the last tear I would shed for Dad. If he wants to stop living his life let him, I wasn't going to cry anymore. I might get mad at him, but I will not let myself get sad and feel sorry for myself. I took a deep breath in a desperate attempt to steady my voice so when I tell Rachel this I sound like I mean it. I lifted my head and said 'You're right and I'm going to stop all this crap I've been doing with my dad. I need to start living life to the fullest. Mom would want me to go on without her.'
'Hell yeah, that's the spirit. You finally got it through that little head of yours. And since you finally listened to me you're going to Jennifer's party tonight. That is a command by the way and it is the last day of Spring Break so there won't be many more parties with this many people. I know she died two years ago today, but what did you just say to me about living your life to the fullest.'
'You suck. Did you know that? Come one are really going to make me go its not like I have ever been a huge party person. All those people.' I whimpered. I always hated big groups of people I just feel so out place. I don't know where to go and then walking in on the Friendlier people making out in the bathrooms.' Fine, but do you promise to protect me from all the creeps and if it gets too crazy do you promise we can split?'