June 1, 2008
By Daisy Jacquez, Manchester, NH

July 6th, 2005 started off just as like every Wednesday of my summer vacation. I woke up to my mom dusting off my desk. She has always been a neat freak. My mom likes everything clean and organized, and would get mad if it wasn't. So I climbed out of bed and started to get ready for another day, knowing my room needed to be clean. My days that summer consisted of cleaning the house, doing the laundry, taking care of the plants, and occasionally hanging out with my friends. When I got out of the shower, my mom started telling me I needed to fix my bedroom, because it wasn't "me". My mom was always trying to define me, and tell me who I was, or at least who she wanted me to be. I hated it; it made me feel completely controlled. She would always tell me when she didn't like what I wore or the music I listened to and that it wasn't me. She never took into consideration how I felt about anything.
I did what she told me to do to avoid making her angry, which would just worsen the situation. I picked up some of my sister's things off the floor and put them away. My sister, who was nine years old, went to a summer program that year. I was very envious of her because she didn't have to stay home all day with my mom. My sister absolutely hated being told who she was and was always more vocal about her disagreements.

Later that day, we went to pick my sister up and then went out for dinner. Dinner out went as it normally did: my brother was only three at the time, and always made an enormous mess with his food. He ate half of it, and threw the other half all over the place. When my brother was first born, I thought he was the cutest thing, but he soon became annoying and smelly. Being the oldest, I was always left to babysit my brother and sister when my parents had important things to do or when they went out. It's been like that ever since I turned thirteen, and to this day, that hasn't changed.

When we finally returned home, there was a message on our phone for my mom. It was my aunt from Arkansas and she wanted my mom to call her back as soon as possible. My aunt and my mom talked often, so I thought nothing of the message. It was after my mom got off the phone that I realized something was wrong. No one told me anything; they thought I was too young to know but that night, I overheard my parents talking. That's when I found out my grandpa had been diagnosed with cancer.

I had heard about people dying from all kinds of diseases and illnesses, but Inever thought it could actually happen to someone I knew, until it did. I was in shock. That night, I remember crying more than I ever had.

The months after that day are still a big blur to me. A few months later, my grandpa passed away. My mom seemed totally different. She didn't eat much and she spent most of her time cleaning the house. My dad started to work over time and we soon stopped eating dinner together.

This event was very hard for me to go through and it was very emotional, but it changed me and my out look on life forever. It taught me to appreciate life and to live life to the fullest everyday. I started to speak up about how I felt and my mom tried to understand. My mom still decorates my room how she wants to, arguing that "unless you pay for it, you have no say in what it looks like". I have learned to deal with my mom as best as I can and I don't let her tell me who I am anymore. I have also learned not to take people for granted and to not let the small mishaps in life bring you down.

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