When I was child, I used to be like the other kids, happy with dreams. I used to play with dolls, ride a bike, and have friends. Those were the best moments . . . all I wanted I had. My parents gave me everything, candies, toys, and other material things, because my father had a good job and a good salary, so my mother didn't need to work and she could spend time with us. I could say that my life was “perfect.”
Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending. Something happened and when I was nine years old, my mother migrated to another country to work. I was living with my aunt and my father. One day my father got sick, so he went to the hospital. He needed to be hospitalized, but everything was ok . . . well, that was what they told me. I went back home with my aunt that night and while I was sleeping they woke me up and I received sad news, which was that my father had passed away. I didn't know how to react; I couldn't believe what was happening, but I couldn't do anything. I thought it was a nightmare.
Everything was happening so fast; first he was fine, and then he was dead. How could this happen in a blink, everything gone? My mother had to come back. She was so sad because she couldn’t say goodbye to her husband. I couldn't either. I didn't understand what happened, but I needed to be strong for her.
A week later, I tried to return to “my normal life" and I went back to school. Everybody looked at me as if something were wrong with me. I could feel how their eyes looked at me with pain, but they didn't know that what they were doing made me feel worse. I understood that nobody can help you to feel better, even if they want to, because they don't know how.
It was a difficult moment, but I realized that I could do things without my father, because I have my mom, who will always be beside me. Even though she was far away from us, she has always tried to do the best she can for us.
Eventually, I started going back to church and tried to find an answer to all of these questions. There I became interested in doing things like visiting sick people, or people who felt homesick, and instantly I knew that a person does not need material things. I could see how these people were happy just because they had someone to talk to. Since then, I have changed how I see my life. I am interested in doing something that can help me and others overcome the challenges that life gives us.
All I've learned in my short life is that everything can change in just one second, and that nothing is ever as we expect. So, we should stand up for ourselves, take a deep breath, and go on with our lives knowing that everything is going to be ok when you have something to strive for.
Debora Samudio is a 17-year-old from Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. She enjoys reading articles and novels, as well as writing essays.
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