Her Example This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   She was everything anyone could ask for. She wasbeautiful, radiant, smart and wise. She was also a teacher, caregiver,philosopher, mathematician and chef, just to name a few of her roles. From myearliest years, I identified myself as a part of her. Of course I did - I am herson.

She taught me about life. Most important, she taught me about theBible, kindness, gratitude, history and the joy of cooking. "Give!" shetold me. "The only ones who get are those who give." Her lessons weremade clear despite my youth because she taught them by example. She inspired menot to lose myself in this world, always to be true, never to forget where I comefrom, and always to know where I'm going. She also told me it's okay to changedirection as long as I keep the direction positive.

Never did she teachanything that she did not put into practice. She taught us about selflessness,and so we never knew what real hunger was. God forbid I forget my jacket on acold day; she would be annoyed and make me wear hers. She took care of herbabies. That's what we were. That's what I still am.

That was anotherthing about Mom. When I was by her side, it was hard to be led astray. If Isomehow were, I would always be forgiven. She also possessed the power to healany wound, external or internal. If it wasn't Band-Aids, it was hugs, becausesometimes just a hug from the right person will do. That still holds true to thisday. Whenever I was lost, she would find me in an instant. Whenever I wasdistraught, she would know from just one glance.

My mother's room was onthe third floor. She was dying. I did not want to stay in the hospital or enterher room. When I finally did, she was already gone. She was a saint who didn'tdeserve what she was so cruelly given. She was an angel in the world ofmen.

In that instant, my life changed. The embodiment of all that I hadheld sacred was destroyed. Everything she was forced itself into me that day.She's become an immortal part of me.

The final lesson she taught me wasthat no one lives forever. Death comes to us all; it is inevitable, as well asirreversible. Weak or strong, no one is exempt. One's first breath is as much apart of life as one's last. I just wish I hadn't had that example. There wasstill so much she could have taught me. That lesson I would have rather notlearned, nor do I think she wanted to teach it: Nadie es eterno [No one iseternal].




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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