Forever Lost This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The sun rose slowly and there was a sweet smell inthe air. Birds sang with grace while the neighbors got ready for a barbecue. Itwas summer - flowers were in bloom and the world couldn't have seemed better. Iopened my eyes, peering out my window. My father had already left to do theweekend shopping. My older brother and sister were downstairs making breakfast.As far as I could tell, they were whipping up some scrambled eggs and toast thatsmelled great. I lay back in bed and, as I always do, reflected on mylife.

In the summer of 1980, my parents exchanged wedding vows hoping tolive a long and fruitful life filled with joy, but they were torn apart bytragedy. My mother passed away in 1989 when I was just nine months old. Sincethen, my father has struggled to raise my siblings and me by himself. Hesacrificed not only his health but his job to take care of us.

Inrecent years, my father told me, "From the day she was born, your mothersuffered from a disease that affected part of her brain. I guess it was genetic.Eight years into our marriage, the disease progressed. Your mother decided tohave surgery to try to stop it." His face became stone-like as he was washedaway in a surge of memories. He finally continued, "During surgery,something went wrong, and she died." At that point, he'd had enough and sohad I. To talk about a death in your family is really difficult, but I wanted tolearn more about her.

Each year I visit my grandmother in Syracuse. Twoyears ago, I came across a family video from 1985 celebrating my older sister'sfirst birthday. I watched it and it struck me like a ton of bricks - my motherwas so beautiful! I'd never seen her speak or move, and this tape astounded me.The joy in her eyes as she held her daughter cannot be described. I had alwaysbeen told she was very bright, but I saw that for myself when I sat gazing at hershowing my sister a picture book. From the video, I saw that she had a colorfulpersonality filled with ideas.

My mother's image left a deep imprint thatI will always remember. Her death marked not only a lost relative but also a lostguide in my life. So, who is she? I don't really know. But I do know that she'llalways be with 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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