My father was a private for the military while my mother worked at the Eye-Care store. They immediately got married and after one whole year. My parents name me Ralph after my dad, and I was the only child my parents ever had. Life was perfect until my first birthday was when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. After that, my parents started to fight over everything, and it got worse each day. When the marriage got to it's lowest point, they divorced, and I stayed with my mom throughout my childhood.
My childhood, I will say, was awesome. My mother took me from the divorce to an apartment and lived there until she couldn’t pay the rent anymore. Then she took us to my Grandpa George’s house; the house was like those trailer homes that can move by wheels. We lived there for several years, and during that time, I got to go to water parks, and beaches in Galveston came out to restaurants like Cici’s. Nevertheless, I was chubby in my childhood because I never ate anything healthy. When I was around 10, my mother wanted to take just her and me to a house. Soon, my mom found a house that was close to my grandfather and my school. The house had three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, two bathrooms, and a forest-like backyard. We had a lot of packages that we moved in but never worked on it because we were too lazy to work.
I did well in school throughout my whole childhood. However, the problem was that I had autism, which made learning hard for me than most students. I remembered my mom cried when she got a call from the school that I am not able to pass through 4th grade if I had the reading level of a 2nd grader. She wanted to help me to practice my reading skills badly, but she couldn’t because one, she doesn’t believe anything is wrong with her little angel and second is that she has worked the whole day in another eye-care store in a mall that is several miles away from home. However, I had an excellent teacher in the fourth grade, who I can remember Ms. Ballot. She helped me through my autism and consistently believed in honesty, kindness, and hard work. She treated the students like me like her children and gave awesome prizes like sodas, candy, and chips by doing what she wants us to do. For me, I was incredibly carefree, and I didn’t seem bothered by the problems because I thought the school was a daycare, a place where I just have fun. Of course, all of that changed for me forever.
It was January, a week after New Year’s Day when I came from school on a Friday. I came in with keys, and I was pretty surprised to find that the door wasn’t completely locked in. Curious, I opened the door and looked around the living room. I turned to my left and walked down the hallway where it connects to the master bedroom. When I stepped in, I found something that shocked me. My mother was on the bed, seemed to be sleeping. My initial thought was that my mom was going to work today. I then remembered that sometimes Mom would call the eye-care place that she needs a day-off and almost all the time they would let her have one. I didn’t want to wake up my mother, so I just watched the Despicable Me movie, played my Nintendo game until it was getting around 8 in the evening. I ate eight pieces of cheese and bread for my dinner. I continued playing my game, and I wasn’t bothered by the fact that is still sleeping. When it became my bedtime that was around 9 o’clock, I went to bed with the curiosity, but I reassured myself that she would wake up in the morning. I soon fell asleep when my mind couldn't answer any more mental questions.
I did nothing much on Saturday, all I did was watching the Despicable Me movie and playing my game. I started to get worried, and I decided to get help if my mother doesn’t wake up on the next day. On Sunday, my mom was still sleeping. I shook my mom and said, “Mom, wake up. Mom, wake up it’s time to get up.” However, she wasn’t waking up. Suddenly, I noticed her head was on the pillow. So I pulled it up, and I saw something that I will never forget. Her eyes closed shut, and her nose was bleeding excessively with blood mixed with snot. Then I decide to give CPR because I thought mom need help. The problem was that I didn’t learn CPR the right way. So, I went to the bathroom to get paper towels and get comfort from my canine friend. My dog, who's named was Jake, was a little dog with rust-color fur, cute small eyes. He probably didn’t know what was going on, but I can tell that he smelled the hormones of sadness and distress coming from me. I didn’t blame him; it was hard for me to understand death at such a young age like my dog. Suddenly, I had an idea of calling the police.
The problem was that I had a pay phone, but I spent all the money by giving random phone calls to my family members. I was sad that I needed to walk several miles with money to buy a card that fills up my pay phone. Luckily, I tried 911, and it doesn’t cost anything. I was afraid of what to do when the female voice came on the speaker. I immediately hang up. The only reason I think why I hang up was that my mom maybe, for some reason, wake up and get mad at me calling somebody that I don’t know of and wasting money. On the second time, I mustered all my courage to say the situation. The woman who was talking to me was kind, and she sounded a little surprised. She told me to go to the neighbor’s house and explain what was going on. I went to a friend’s house, and I told them what was going on. Then the neighbors moved into my house, and they tried to wake up my mother. I told them that she wasn't breathing. The parents looked at each other, and they went outside. I ran into the bathroom and hugged my dog tight, and my dog tried to comfort me with his tongue. I was there for a few minutes, and I ran outside, just in time, to see the ambulance.
After the people had come out of the ambulances to check out my mother, I couldn’t remember much about what I did when the people from the ambulance came. All I could remember is when I was in the chair with a cup of Dr. Pepper. The people who worked there tried to talk to me about what happened, and I answered the best I could. They comforted and praised me for calling the police. I could only nod, and I couldn’t feel anything but an empty feeling within my stomach. My grandmother and father came, and they were worried about what was going on. One of the men who went out of the house with Jake, my dog. Poor Jake, he never has seen so many people. He got so scared that he was shaking in my lap when I was in grandmother’s car. My dad and grandma were surprised that there was a real dog because I told them that I had a dog, but they thought it was a plush or toy. The man who took out Jake asked for my grandmother and father. They went far away that I couldn’t hear them. All I saw was my grandmother falling into the ground, crying, and my dad putting his hands to his face. I never saw my father looking so distressed, and they didn’t tell me what the man said, except that I was going to Grandma’s house. I didn’t mind that because I wanted to go to my grandmother’s house badly. My dog got to sleep with me, and I will never forget the whimpering of Jake throughout the event. Soon, my family, both my mother’s and father’s, told me what happened to my mom, and that I won’t get to see her again. The moment I heard that I felt tears started to pour out of my eyes, and I began to cry with both of hands over my face. We had her funeral, and I refused to go to the podium, but they convince me to do for my mom. I got on there, tears following and voice cracked; I promised that I would take care of Jake and that I make her proud. After the funeral, my mother got cremated, and my uncle takes care of her box.
The only regret I have ever had been that I wish I lived the moment. I missed my mother a lot, and I still do, especially when I go to bed. When I go to sleep, I normally get ready for mom to tuck me into bed. However, it was my grandmother that would typically tuck me in. My grandparents took care of me throughout the rest of childhood. I did have fun, but I was never the same. I was the happy boy whom everyone sees, but inside I had so much depression that I didn't know what to do. My dog does comfort me through my lonely times, and he was the only friend I had. There were very few bullies in 4th grade that used to make fun of me because I was fat every day until I got into 5th grade. As I moved to another school, things did start to get better, but not much. I had new teachers, but it was tough me to pass my grades. The only things that comforted and entertained me from the cruel world were my dog and video games like Nintendo. However, I did not much human help from my dad because he had to work as a mechanic. Nether less, my grandparents would take me from their house to live with my dad, and his Hispanic girlfriend on the weekends.
I was empty through my elementary year. My grandmother took me to a psychologist because of she somehow know that I had a hard time dealing with my mother’s death. The doctor was friendly and patient with me, and I trusted her so much that I told her all about what happened to me. Talking with that doctor made me feel better, yet I still couldn’t get rid of the empty feeling that was creating a hole through my heart. When I was about to go into 7th grade, the unexpected happened. My grandparents told me that I would move in with my dad. At first, I was mad because I wanted to stay with them forever. No matter how much I tried to persuade them; they had me moved. I thought it was going to be a living hell, but surprisingly it wasn’t. Maria was kind to me, and she was extremely religious that she took me every Saturday to a Catholic church just to pray for 30 minutes. I never understood what was going on, but I was happy to go to church. I think the reason why was that when I stepped in, the empty feeling left. Maria then took me to another church that was closer to home. I started to have friends by the Sunday school, and I finally told my whole story with the pastor of that church. As I talked about it, I cried and started to have the empty feeling again. The pastor comforted me and helped me to overcome the pain that I had been throughout my whole life.
Several months after my meeting with the pastor, my dad married his Hispanic girlfriend, and I have another mom. One year later, I have a little brother, a child wish that came true. Two years later, I got baptized, confirmed, and received the Body and Blood of Christ in the Easter Vigil because of my answer “Yes” to be God's adopted son. My middle school years were some of the best years I had for a long time because that was when I got to have impressive grades, friends, participated in extracurricular activities, and teachers who helped so much in my autism. I had awards from my classes because of the hard-work and dedication that I had to take in studying. As I got into high school, I achieved in my freshman year than I had ever dreamed thanks to God and my family.
Now I live in one of my uncle's created houses with my parents and little brother. I am part of the Knights of Columbus as a Colombian Squire, and I serve my church as an Altar Sever. I am a sophomore in a public high school that is one of the best schools in the state of Texas. I am taking three Advance Placement classes, and I am part of the Spanish Club, Theater, Journalism, and Athletic Training. My dream is becoming a teacher teaching Biology and Chemistry by getting my master's degrees at Sam Houston State University. I owe everything to God and Jesus Christ because they helped me through music and people who took an interest in me. They give me a hand to become from being a quiet, fat, autistic kid to an outgoing, smart, religious, and lean teenager. I have everything that I ever dreamed of and go onward to the future with a ready, happy, and determined face. I will be with my mother again when I die and go to the afterlife that Jesus Christ promised through his death and resurrection. As I write this memoir, I am grateful for two things: God for giving me the gift of writing and to Teen Ink for helping me to spread my story to others that are like me. As I conclude my story, here is the message I would like to send to my teenage brother and sisters of Teen Ink, and possibly the world. When it comes down to difficulties, you are never alone. Be brave, and the light will wash away all the darkness.