When I think of my childhood, I think of family. Happiness and hardships that shaped the bonds I value most today.
An old face brick house is where my childhood memories live, filled with joy and sadness. At the crack of dawn every morning Mom would wake my sister and me up to get water from the neighborhood tap. As we walked for about a mile away from home we would witness the beautiful sunrise over the community lake. For hours my sister and I would play bare feet in the dirty lake water, running carefree. Mom never had to worry about where we were, she knew exactly where to find us. The bond between my sister and I grew stronger than ever. She was the very first friend I had. We would play with mud pies for hours, climb in the neighbors tree and eat golden delicious apples till or tummies hurt or just lay in the backyard in the hammock in the tree, reading stories until we sometimes fell asleep. We were both happy kids who became even happier when mom told us another baby was coming. Life was so much simpler and easier then.
The morning of my eighth birthday I heard something in the room, at first I thought it was my little sister crawling, but then I heard a noise. I quickly opened my eyes, jumped out of bed and there it was, a big brown box that had my name written on it. I didn’t know what to do, for a few seconds I just stood there, then I heard dads voice saying open it. I opened the box and there she was, wiggling her tail. I immediately fell in love. My first puppy, She was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. We had Lucy for about four days when we discovered she was deaf but that did not change the way I felt about her. Lucy went
everywhere with us she was part of our family. One morning I was running late for school I left the house in such a hurry that I had forgotten to close the gate behind me. Lucy saw this as an opportunity to play outside and was hit by a car. When I came home from school that day mom told me what happened, I couldn’t believe it I felt responsible for her death for days, I felt sick to my stomach, never in the eight years that I’ve been born have I felt anything like this my heart was shattered into one million pieces. As much as I love dogs till this very day, I have never had a dog ever again.
The year 2007 was when tragedy struck my life. “I need to tell you something,” Dad said in a voice I have never heard him speak in before. “It’s your mother she is…” and before he could say anything else tears started to fill his eyes. Never in the thirteen years that I had been alive had I ever seen my Dad cry. The thought of mom being dead passed through my mind, my hands started shaking with a lump in my throat I asked, “Dad is mom gone?” The look on his face with tears falling down his cheeks and snot running from his nose he looked at me and said, “No. Mom has lost kidney function and will need to go on dialysis until we find a donor.” My sister at the time was six years old and to her understanding needing a new kidney meant buying kidney like the kind mom would use if she made steak and kidney pie. In her mind, she thought if mom ate that she would be well again.
Every week, three days a week, Mom had to travel to the hospital for dialysis for six-hour sessions. Dad had no option but to quit his job so he could be home to take care of Mom. A downward spiral seemed to follow. Now Mom could only eat certain foods. Transportation to and from the hospital was expensive. Dad had been the only breadwinner, and now that he was not working, bills started pilling up until we received an eviction notice. Dad had no option but to start borrowing money that we are to this day still paying off.
On Monday, September 12, 2009, around 7 am, the house telephone rang. I was busy getting ready for school when I heard Mom asking the person on the phone if they were sure it was for her. Then she started crying, “The hospital called. They found a match. I need to come in so that they can operate.” The look on her face as she said it was almost like she herself couldn’t believe that after two years of waiting that there was finally a kidney match for her. On that day my sisters and I didn’t go to school. We left our house immediately and went to the hospital dressed in our school uniforms. It was the best news we had received in a very long time. Waiting for Mom’s kidney for so long definitely put a lot of strain on my parents’ marriage and on us as kids, but in the end it brought us closer together as a family
I miss my childhood. I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things and moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.