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Now I Appriciate You
January 21, 2011
Now I Appreciate You
By Yobani Cano
In life, I’ve always had what I needed and only what my parents could give me, but nothing ever seemed fair to me. I always wanted more. Everything I have up to now, I know it’s because of God and my parents. Do I need more?
My family is made up of 6 children, a hard-working mother, and an absent father. Mother works all day long, 6 days a week including half of Saturday. Father lives apart and I only see him on the weekends. My mom, five sisters, and I live in a single apartment. White room with two wide windows on the right of my mom’s bed, a soft comfortable blue rug covering the inside of the room, and white tiles covering the kitchen floor. Often, when I stare out the window, all I see are more windows, but, when I think about it, those aren’t simply windows, they’re slides of my life and the mistakes I’ve made...
It was October 30, 2010, an ordinary Saturday afternoon. Bright shining sun, clouds forming funny shapes in the sky. Everything was perfect, except today we were moving. Back and forth, we walked from Seventh and Witmer, to Wilshire and Union. My mom had just arrived from buying food from the market, ready to cook for my dad. She was nine months pregnant ready to give birth any day now. I looked at her and all of a sudden, I figured something was wrong. She got her bag and told me to go with her.
“Ay cuidas bien a tus hermanas,” she whispered in my sister Sonia’s ear grabbing her burgundy sweater. (“Take good care of your sisters.”)
We then, walked out of the house and walked up towards the hospital by Wilshire and Witmer-Good Samaritan Hospital. I could tell by the look on my mom’s face that she was in pain. She stopped every five steps and would hold on to anything she could find.
“Mamí si quieres voy a traerte una silla de ruedas o le puedo llamar a alguién en este teléfono público para llegar más rápido al hospital,” I said, pointing to a blue and white public phone on the corner of Witmer and Ingraham. (“Mom you now, if you want to I can go get you a wheel chair or I can call someone on that public phone to get to the hospital faster.”)
“No, así está bien, y además es mejor caminar antes de dar a luz para que luego el bebé nazca mas rápido y temprano y con menos dolor,” she answered with low voice and sweat dripping from her forehead. (“No, it’s okay like that, Anyways it’s better to walk for a while before giving birth, so then when I give birth it’s faster and with less pain.”)
We kept on walking up that little hill towards the hospital. There was only one block left to walk, but it felt a mile long.When I saw my mom's tired face, I realized how strong she was to do what she was doing. I believed no ordinary woman will ever want to walk to the hospital minutes before giving birth, but my mom did.
I remembered how although she was pregnant, she worked all day long earning such a small amount of money for all the hours she worked. I never actually paid much attention to what she was doing for me and my sisters. Once, someone told me that a mother like mine should be rewarded with much more than what she was earning. I agreed, although I never thought of that before. I know that maybe to others she is not the perfect mom but we all have our own opinion on our own mothers and these are my words.
Every step she gave up towards the hospital, were her last steps given from her old life and a new weight off her back.
“Uhhhfff…” she exhaled holding on to a pole placed on the edge of the sidewalk.
“No te preocupes, mamí ya casí llegamos,” I said trying to motivate her not to stop and keep going no matter what. (“Don’t worry, Mom, we’re almost there.”)
We crossed the street with the little red hand out and with 12 seconds left on the street light. The countdown was on...
(12, 11, 10, 09, 08)
While the numbers were lowering one by one, (07, 06, 05, 04), my mom walked faster and faster...
(03, 02, 01, 00)
It had stopped, the red light was out and we were still walking in middle of the street. Beep, beep! The cars had no respect.
We made it up to the sidewalk and my mom fell on the edge of a planter around the side of the hospital to take a break.
After all the walking, me and my mom finally arrived at the hospital, we went all the way up to the eighth floor where the lady who was attending us did not do such a good job. There was my mom, a 36 year-old, and there was another lady looking like she was in her early 20’s. My mom was in pain ready to give birth, and the other lady had just stepped into the room with no injuries, no pain, and had only come for a check-up. The nurse was wearing a teal-colored shirt and white pants. She started asking my mom all these different types of questions and was not realizing that my mom was not in the mood and did not have the time or the patience to answer any of these dumb questions. She did not get at least a chair to sit on, or something that could calm her pain. I saw her moving around back and forth, not staying still for a moment.
My mind filled up with things I would have never say aloud.
“What the f---?, Can you just hurry up and get my mom a f------ room already?!?! You’re a nurse right? Then do your f------ work faster already!” I screamed aloud in my mind, ready to burst out, but I figured, “What will that do? How is it going to get her to a room faster?”
Nothing improved, but we finally got a room. We got in and a nurse gave her clothes to change into. A male doctor came in and then started asking her these other questions, examined her and did all sorts of stuff.
“Hablale a tu hermana para que venga,” she softly told me laying on a bed with her eyelids closed. (“Go call your sister and ask her to come here for me.”)
After my sister arrived, my mom asked me to leave and go help out with moving all our stuff into our new apartment.
Time went by, about 20 minutes later, my sister and my mom in the same room, a doctor, a nurse, and soon a small beautiful little girl. Sonia, my sister, called home to inform us about the new baby in the house.
“It’s a little girl!” she said happily.
As soon as I heard my little sister was born, I rushed out of the house and went straight to the hospital without telling anyone.
“Excuse me where can I find the patient, Guadalupe Cano’s room?” I asked the receptionist.
“Guadalupe Cano? Hum, let me see... Ohh yeah it’s room 885, on the eighth floor,” I took the badge he handed me and with a smile on my face I answered back with,
I took the elevator up to the eighth floor and looked for her room. My heart was pounding really hard with all the excitement. Every second that went by was a beat harder of my heart. Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!. It sounded as I walked up past the rooms I found in my way.
883, 884, 885! I finally got in the room and for the first time I saw my little sister. My mom was laying on the bed looking tired with a pale face. Sonia was carrying my new born sister Eulalia on a couch placed next to my mom’s bed. After all, I thanked God for giving me such a beautiful little sister.
“Estas bien?” (Are you okay mom?), I asked my mom.
“Si” (Yes), she answered back with a smile on her face.
I carried my little sister for the first time, her small redish face that can fit into my palm moved slowly back and forth adjusting into my hands. “Thank you God," I thought to myself, admiring my mom’s strength.
Recalling that joyous day, I realized that too often I focus on the negative slides of my life when I’ve made mistakes and have not realized how it affects my life! Appreciate all of what you have and don’t ask for more because you never know what people go through to give you what you have up to today. After seeing, all of what my mom went through on her 9 months of pregnancy, I now understand why things at home happen. I don't always get all that I want, but I get all that I need. That is something I should be thankful for.
It’s been almost three months after this incident. My parents are reconciling, and my sister once called “little” is now big, strong, and healthy! Now that I understand things at home better, I try to do as best as I can towards my parents and always thank them for anything I get!
“I didn’t ask for anything… But God gave me EVERYTHING!” -The Bible