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God? (Allah? Buddha? Adonai? Flying Spaghetti Monster?)

I sat there on my bed, cold; numb; rigid; wiping the tears off my moist skin. I had just been told the worst news of my life, that my Meema has cancer. Thoughts are racing through my head: what’s going to happen? Is she going to be okay? Am I going to be okay? What’s going to happen to my everyday life? Who will help me with my schoolwork and coping with my everyday struggles? Am I going to have to live with Daddy? And of course, the ever obvious “is she going to die? What happens to me if she doesn’t make it?” Of all the things I thought about, I tried as hard as I could to stay away from the question of survival as much as I could. I couldn’t bear the thought of it. It killed me inside. As I wiped another acrimonious water droplet off my tearstained face, I closed my eyes and breathed in and breathed out. My breath was far from steady. I repeated this action until I was finally sound enough to collect my things for the next morning’s day of school.

I scuttled through my room in a daze, not knowing what I was looking at or even looking for. Through this haze, I managed to collect my things and the next thing I knew, I was outside on my roof with a notebook. In this notebook were the contents of my heart, mind, and soul. In this notebook were my poems, journals, and rants. I sat there and instinctively let my pen glide across the crisp, white, lined paper. My pen scribbled wildly, faster and faster until finally, it stopped. I placed it on my lap, looked up, took a breath and proceeded to read my rant aloud.

Disease. What is it? Why does it happen, especially to the nicest and most caring of people? I don’t understand. Is there any sort of divine reason for this? Wait…there is no God. This was already established in my mind years ago when my parents told me that they were never going to get divorced. And if there were a god, then this whole situation with Meema wouldn’t have happened in the first place. It’s stage three uterine cancer, gallstones; she’ll be allergic to the chemo, contract c.diff. and have to postpone the radiation. (Not to mention all the other nonsense that is going to go on with the hospital stays.) There can’t be a god…there mustn’t be…I don’t know. Maybe? Ugh. I don’t think so. There’s no way if Meema of all people has so much suffering ahead of her, she’s the most gentile, genuine, loving, caring soul that I’ve ever encountered in my sixteen years to date. She’s my role model. I can’t stand to see her so sick. Why did it have to happen to her? Why did this have to happen to my family? Fine. That settles it. There is no such thing as god.

I had just decided to become an atheist and knew not what to do with that notion; one does not arbitrarily abandon the image of god so quickly however, I just had. Why had I just dismissed even the mere concept of a higher power let alone the existence of one? Am I that bitter and disbelieving that if there was a god then Meema wouldn’t be sick? The answer to this question is, yes.
In the ensuing months I spent my time very bitter, snippy, with an “I don’t care about anything” attitude. I slept through most of my classes throughout the day, spent much time in guidance and therapy, and had to deal with this immense, omnipresent, ever-looming, biting, crippling anger inside of me. It would come out sideways and in ways that do nothing but get me into trouble. I don’t know how to handle this anger; it completely consumes me and I don’t know what action I might take and that is a scary fact. However, with the help of the school guidance department, nurse, and my team of therapists I am learning how to control my anger significantly more effectively then I have in the past. I have gotten to the place where I am aware of when I’m close to triggering and then become aware enough to seek help from a guidance counselor or to ask to call my therapist from school in order to take a brief time out and collect myself so as to prevent any rash behaviors.
In my time, I have spent much of it with my cousin, Emily. She is ten years old and is religions with her mother. She is like a godsend if I ever saw one. My aunt and uncle adopted her and without her, my aunt would not have realized that she had ovarian cancer until it was too late. Emily is a lifesaver and for lack of a better word from my atheist mind, an angelic being. Not for nothing, Emily is always there for me no matter what and when I’m upset I talk to her and no matter what it is that I’ve done or has been done to me, she still loves me and tells me that “God loves you, Ery. It’s going to be okay.” Without the help of my baby cousin, I would not have thought about anything in the ways that I have. In conjunction to this, Meema always tells me that I need to have something to believe in so I can be whole. She feels that without belief in a higher power be it god or Buddha or whomever one chooses is nurturing and vital to one’s spirituality and for the longest time I detested believing her. It was not until this past weekend that someone has actually succeeded in getting into my head when it comes to religion. Many have tried and failed, and only my friend James has been successful. Through conversations with him, I am learning about his relationship with God and what it’s like to have a relationship with a higher power and know what it is to be connected with something so much bigger than us. I’ve seen the effects that believing in God has had on James. He has much more patience and I have watched his rage issues dissipate in front of my eyes. It is nothing short of remarkable and it makes me wonder: can this be achieved for me too? Through conversations with James and Meema, I am learning what it is to be calm and through spending time with Emily, I am learning what it is to be loved unconditionally for all of my flaws and my assets. In a way, Emily represents god for me; she is a child. She is the epitome of innocence, love, care, fun, and acceptance. That is what the image of god is to me. I have very recently discovered that it is not one god that is created for us, but that we create our own god that is always there for us as a warm presence that we can go to for guidance when things get tough or when we feel alone. Though my grandmother is still in the hospital, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. She is going to be okay and with this hellacious experience, my family has become even more tight-knit than ever and it is nothing less then amazing. My Meema is a miracle and a blessing in my life and through her sickness and love; I have found faith in the god of my creation. I needed this horrific experience to grow as much as I have as a person and has and will continue to shape who I am as a person in every day that passes for years to come.




Follow Up Paragraph
In my narrative, my theme is the loss of my faith in god and humanity. By the end of the narrative, I have found faith in my own god and have better faith that my grandma will defeat her disease and all of the terrors and complications that have come with it. I have journeyed from believing in god as a child because that is what I was taught, to resenting the concept of a higher power, to creating my own and having faith in something that I cannot see. The symbol in this narrative is a child, namely Emily. She represents god because the central concept of god is the creator of everything and loving of all his children, even the sinners. I know I have done wrong and I am still loved. This is how my relationship with Emily is and that is the reason that I chose her to represent god.





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