Learning from a Brother

January 18, 2010
By kayla722 BRONZE, Springfield, Massachusetts
kayla722 BRONZE, Springfield, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Children cope with many difficulties as they grow up. Some have trouble lacing up the laces on their shows or picking out Valentine’s Day cards. For children, every situation appeared difficult to overcome. While all kid’s problems seem serious to them, mine was truly life-altering. When I was roughly eight years old, my little brother Khalil Joen Cardona was murdered and my life came to a halting stop.

February 25, 2000 is a date that plays in my mind over and over again, like a reoccurring nightmare. The beginning of that day was fairly normal, like any other eight year olds. I went off to school and spent the day doing mathematical equations and writing poetry. The school’s hallways were filled with laughter and smiling faces. After the long school day, I went to the Springfield Boys and Girls Club to have a fun time. There were various activities to participate in within the building. We could play pool, air hockey, bumper pool, or cards. Other options that we could choose from were swimming, basketball, soccer, typing in the computer lab, or participating in arts and crafts. That day, I decided to play a pool. During the middle of my game, I heard an announcement: “Could Kayla please come to the membership desk to answer a phone call.” It seemed strange that I was getting a phone call at this time. The walk to the phone seemed as if it was miles away and I wouldn’t reach it. Many questions rushed through my mind. Who was calling me? Why was I being called? I would find out as soon as I reached the membership table. I answered the phone and the voice on the other end was my grandmother’s. Her voice sounded like it was filled with despair. She told me that my grandfather was coming to pick me up because something had happened. My grandfather would be arriving at the Boys and Girls Club at any minute, so I started to head to the doorway.

As I left the Boys and Girls Club, I wondered what news was waiting for me when I arrived home. Having the mind of a child, I assumed that I would receive great news. My house was only a ten minute drive, but it seemed as if I would never make it home. The ride felt like it was an hour long since we hit every red light.

I finally made it home. As I walked through the foyer, I saw the depressing faces of my mother and grandmother looking at me. I was asked to sit on the couch because an incident had occurred. As soon as I sat down, my mother told me that my brother had been killed. At first I didn’t want to believe it. I said, “Haha, that’s not funny. So what really happened?” My mother tried convincing me that this wasn’t a joke and that he had actually passed away. As soon as I realized it wasn’t a joke, I felt the tears run down my face. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. How could a child of only two and a half years old get murdered? I thought that my life was going to end right there and then. How was I supposed to live without my brother, my other half? There was no way I could survive without him in my life.

Years have passed since the day he passed away. I remember all the pity people expressed for me: “Aww that poor girl. What is she to do now?” I believed then that, I had to be strong for my family. I really never let them see my tears because I knew that they were going through the same. I had the idea that if I stayed strong, people would become happy and try to continue on with their lives. Then, as now, I don’t show the pain that I have been through. Every person sees me as the girl who always has a smile on her face and has a life that seems picture perfect. No one realizes that behind my smile, there is a girl who has lost a brother.

Losing a brother has taught me to become a strong woman, one who isn’t easily discouraged and who feels empathy for others. I realize that every person in life needs someone who is there for them, no matter what the situation is. I have learned that in life there are many problems that can occur, but most of the problems aren’t life-threatening or a terrible struggle. Most of the problems people face can easily be solved and forgotten. People should enjoy life for what it is and life it to the nest of their abilities. Facing my loss, had made me conclude that life isn’t perfect but even with its imperfections, it can be made into something special.

The author's comments:
I hope that people will understand that even though losing a loved one is difficult, they'd have to strive and do their best.

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