By: Melanie Rosado
My First Ever Problem
In the United States, Numbers of marriage and divorce change all the time. Is it the level of acceptance in the country? Is it the financial state that the country is in? Are people just moving quicker? Have values changed? Does religion play a role? I value the numbers of marriages and divorces that took place while my parents were going through these processes.
There were 2,362,000 marriages and 1,191,000 divorces in 1994.
(The year before my parents got married)
There were 2,315,000 marriages and 944,000 divorces in 2000.
(The year my parents were officially divorced)
There were 2,140, 272 marriages and 813,862 divorces in 2014.
(The most recent information on marriage and divorce in the U.S according to the National Center for Health Statistics)
My parents were young when they met each other and though they were a bit older when they got into a relationship, they were still young; Young enough for elders to say that they were too young for the point in life they had already reached. They were happy together when they became a couple. They didn’t intend to get pregnant, get married, have another kid, and get divorced. They intended to be boyfriend and girlfriend for a while, to be happy teenagers together, to go to school and show off, to live normal lives.
Marriage is the legal and emotional binding of two people . You are signing papers and making it legal. Then, usually, you have the ceremony where people come and watch you commit. After, you live together and experience each other. This is what people anticipate. This is what I anticipate. This is what my mother anticipated. But, when my parents went through the marriage process, my mother was swelling with post-pregnancy, I was born only 3 months before. My parents were actually going to get married when my grandparents on my mother’s side learned that my father took my mother’s virginity, but because my dad’s mother wouldn’t sign the papers required for his marriage (being under the age of 18), they didn’t get married until after my father decided it was time – he turned 18 and learned that they were having a baby.
My parents were so young that after the marriage happened, my mother had to stay in her parents’ house with me. My father left to basic training the very next day, at around 4 am. They really couldn’t start their life together, or have a family in a personal home until later on when my father came back to get us.
On the outside, divorce is the ending of a marriage by a legal process. Divorce is the complete separation of two people, who once thought they would be bound for life. But on the inside, for the family, it’s the messiest process someone may ever go through. A family creates a life together, and divorce means to have to separate that life into 2 parts. It’s a sloppy and long process. Have you ever heard of anyone who got a divorce and was then able to completely cut off the person they were married to, or their family ? Rarely does anyone hear “Yes, we’re divorced now, I deleted his/her number yesterday and I don’t plan on talking to him/her ever again. Oh, i’m totally okay with that decision.” Of course, saying it like that would sound unnatural but you get the point. And beyond the emotional struggle to let go, the once marriage and now divorce, follows each party for the rest of their lives whether it be through having to share the story with a future spouse, or if there are kids involved, and even when moving on with life by trying to buy a house or have a property in your name. The question never goes away. This is what we went through. Years of being a broken family, a family holding onto a thin and weak string. And as long as we were all holding on to this string, it meant that the definition of separation was “temporary”. In my heart, I always held onto the idea that my parents would get back together. You could have told me over and over again that it was over, but something in me told me that it wasn’t. Until one day, the string actually broke. The separation was complete because there were now two different lives for my sister and I to learn to adjust to. Our parents had two different homes and we had stepparents. There was no turning back.
I realize that divorce can be a positive and beautiful thing for some, but most of the time, it’s painful, for both divorcees, the one not ready to let go, or the children that were a product. In any case, it affects more than just the two people living the process. Both marriage and divorce affects relationships in families, friendships, future children, enemies, and anyone else around to see or feel the impact.
I was 3 when my parents separated. I was 5 when the divorce was legally finalized. I was 7 when I met my step-dad. I was 8 when my dad got re-married. I was around 12 when I finally let go of the idea that my biological parents would ever get back together.
Ironically enough, I lived on a street named “American St.” in North Philadelphia, a neighborhood known to be predominantly filled with Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, from the time I was born until I was about Seven. (Beside the year between the ages of One and Two that I lived in New York State because my father was stationed at Fort Drum) The block was wide, with high sidewalks and filled by small row homes. My mother’s parents lived directly across the street from us. Our house was a light blue that almost looked grey and theirs changed color often because my grandmother could never settle and my grandfather was always left to re-painting. To the left of my grandparents, 2 houses down, was my Uncle’s house. We were never close because he was older- he’s my grandfather’s brother. About 4 houses down from them on the right, was my other grandparents house. Those were Noad’s parents and they were the first of my bloodline to leave the neighborhood. Directly across the street from them, for a very little amount of time, Noad’s sister lived in a white house. I was always with my Titi Rita because she was best friends with my mom before she and Noad became a couple and Titi Rita had a boy who was just a few years younger than I – my cousin Joseph. Anyway, the whole family lived on the same block at one point and it was so convenient. I never payed any mind to it until I got older and then I realized how strange it actually was for all of us to have lived on the same street.
Two blocks behind us, was 3rd street, where there was a newer school built into the neighborhood. Luis Munoz Marin was the school I attended from pre-k until 4th grade even though my mom moved us out of the neighborhood while I was in 1st grade. I loved my school because I was always a teacher’s pet and I never had trouble making friends. I have no recollection of understanding my background at that age. I knew I was Puerto Rican but I don’t remember knowing anything about being Nicaraguan. I wasn’t paying attention to that stuff yet. I didn’t know that some of the words in my vocabulary were spanish words that I didn’t know in English even though English was my first and technically only language. I didn’t know that my young mother had given the school specific instructions to send me to another class while my classmates were sent to a class where they were to perfect their spanish. In fact, every morning we would say the pledge of allegiance in English first and then in Spanish. All of our assemblies included both languages and with all of that, I thought I was just as heavily involved in spanish as the rest of my friends. They all spoke spanish at home and it affected some of them whenever we had reading and comprehensive classes or tests. I heard spanish at home everyday, but I was never taught to speak it back to anyone. Still today, I am not fluent. I forgot how to say the pledge of allegiance in spanish as it has been over a decade since I last did it. But, I was also very nosey and very willing to work to understand whatever I wanted to understand. That being said, I listened to any adult conversation going on around me-even if it was in spanish. I taught myself to understand spanish while I would listen to them by using context clues and keeping up as stories would continue to grow or even by listening to the music they were always playing. It may not be the proper spanish that is taught in classroom’s today but I can understand anything my family has to say to me and I will still respond in English. My reading levels were always above those around me- even after leaving my bilingual school. This could be because of my mother’s decision to keep me from learning both languages heavily and simultaneously but it could also be because my mother read to my sister and I every night until it was our turn to read to her every night. Anyway, I will never forget that school as it was my first and I made it clear that I was attached when my mother told the 9 year old me that she would be transferring me over to our new neighborhood school after I finished the school year off. Between the ages of 7 and 10, there were days that we travelled all the way down from our new neighborhood to get to school and it would take too much time and there were days that we went to school after sleeping in our grandmother’s house the night before because she was the only one who still lived there. My mother grew tired of it. She wanted us to completely move on and that we did. She always says it was hard for her to do that. She hated making us leave but she knew it was for the best.
That last year I spent in the school was 4th grade. I got into my first physical fight that year. He was a small dark skinned boy that I felt was picking on my younger sister after she had fallen. She was on the floor and I was down there checking on her. He walked over to us and looked down. He started saying something and I can’t remember exactly what that was but I remember asking him to leave multiple times before he actually did. I guess he didn’t like that I made sure he got away from us because after I was done taking care of my sister, the morning bell rang, and I started walking towards the entrance I needed to get into, he ran from behind me and jumped on my back. He made me fall. I was young but I was pissed and I guess the adrenaline kicked in because it was almost a scene out of a movie when I grabbed him from on top of me, flipped him over, and banged his head against the concrete. He started bleeding and someone quickly got me off of him. I didn’t get suspended because it was the first time my name was ever involved in some sort of trouble. In fact, I was crying immediately after the incident. Grandma worked at the school during that time, luckily, and I was taken straight to her and then to the principal. They all heard my story and sided with me. Besides that, everyone that I went to school with were kids that I knew since around kindergarten, whether we were “best friends” or not. We all know how elementary school works. There was a kid named Wander. He was Dominican and always sort of annoyed me because he was the funny kid and I took class very seriously. I will never forget him. He is embedded deep in my soul, alongside the school. It was no particular morning when I got to the school yard and saw many of my classmates crying. I kept asking everyone what was wrong but it took forever to get a real answer. When my teacher, Mrs. Jordan, came to get us from the yard that morning she was quiet and her face made it obvious that she was also crying. She took us to the classroom and when we sat down, other adults came into the room. They began to talk to us, offering any counseling we would need. Wander Dejesus was killed when a bullet pierced his chest while he sat in a car outside of his uncle’s “corner” store. He died on March 12, 2005. He was turning 10 on March 21, 2005. My mother dreaded the funeral. She had nothing against the family but she knew what she was up against. I’ve always been an emotional person and I wouldn’t stop crying. She couldn’t handle seeing me like that and she didn’t want to keep me around it. Imagine a funeral full of 10 year olds crying over the death of their friend.
Right after that year, I proceeded to Virginia for a 2 week stay. Mrs. Jordan helped my family raise money so that I could have the opportunity to join a young scholars program that was being held at James Madison University. I was nominated by my teacher from 3rd grade, Ms. Patrick. I was chosen and got to experience college for the first time. I majored in Forensic Science. We ate in the school’s cafeteria. I slept in a dorm with another girl. I shared a shower with all the other girls. I took care of myself to the best of my 10 year old ability for two weeks. It was one of the best experiences of my life. At the end of the two weeks, my family came to pick me up. I was so happy to see them and so excited to get back home and tell all my teachers and friends. I got to share everything with my family. But I never got to go back to the school.
I now lived on Souder st. which was in the North East area of Philadelphia. We transferred to Solomon Solis Cohen, a school that had almost no other hispanics.
(Julia Merejildo, You do not know me, but if this ever finds you, I am sorry for your loss. Wander may be gone but he will never be forgotten. May he Rest in Paradise.)
Melo: Not the basketball player
When I was born, (April 22, 1995 A.K.A Earth Day – I am an earth baby!) I was the family treasure. On both sides of the family, I was the first born baby of my generation. I made both sets of grandparents- grandparents for the first time. If I am being told truthfully, I was very adored by everyone. That, of course, includes Grandma. She was heavily involved with my life since the day I was born. I couldn’t imagine a time without her. She gave me the nickname Melo. I don’t think she did it for any specific reason other than it slipped out of her mouth during baby talk and then it stuck. She usually gives everyone in the family nicknames accidentally. So, I never chose the name and I never hated the name. In fact, I am very proud of the nickname and don’t mind if my loved ones use it. The only time I may have a problem with someone calling me Melo is when they are what one might consider an “enemy” or if the person is saying “Melo? Like the Basketball player?” If I had a dime for every time I heard that, I’d have no college debt. Granted, I attend a state school, but still, you know? “Yes. Like the basketball player. Except, I’m not the basketball player.” I am a girl who hates basketball. “Typical” girl stuff right? But the damn sport has followed me around my whole life. I can’t seem to get away from it and it always seems to bring a friend along, a friend that’s set out to bother some part of my life- in one way or another. For example, my first ever encounter with basketball was with my biological father. I cannot hear the sounds of a basketball game on the TV without imagining Noad laying on the couch, one leg laid straight over the other, both hands supporting his head, elbows in the air, and a straw in his mouth, watching whichever teams were playing each other that night. I will always love my father as I cannot help it. He was a man my mother once loved, a man that gave me life, a man that I lived with as a baby, a man that has financially been supportive in the past, and a man that I can recall enjoying my time with. Truth is that even though I will always love him, I have recently grown a strong hate for him that I don’t know how to hide. I am angry with him and since he can’t understand that, we don’t speak- at all. One can imagine the kind of pain that causes a daughter. The next encounter with basketball that I can recall is my first ever relationship. I was 14 when I met my first love. He had a particular love for the game. He played on the school team in every school he attended and even has a corny, first-tattoo on his left arm that pictures a basketball surrounded by flames and in between the flames reads LIVe- 4- Da- Game. I went to almost all of his games. Even when we were off. We were together on and off until I was 19 years old. Anything I learned about relationships or loving a boy started with him. To love a boy is to understand pain. I’m not saying that I can’t walk passed him today with a smile on my face as I wave hello but if I sat in a room with all of our pictures and memories, I would drown in my sorrows as I could never forget the scars he left in my heart. I won’t continue to list the many encounters I had with basketball but I will say this- Noad was the start of a long curse. He set the bar for how I would forever view men. It’s unfortunate but it isn’t something I could let go and any man I have been involved with or really liked, has had a connection to basketball. Gloomy is my most current situation and with him, I have re-learned to hear the sounds of a basketball game playing on television as society has created another way of accessing the realism of the game- 2k- and he plays that more than he could actually sit and watch a game. He plays “noon ball” with all the other basketball loving guys on campus who aren’t on the official IUP team. I’m used to it. But I don’t love it. I am not a basketball player.
Anger vs. Shame
I have so much anger built up inside of me. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know what to do with it. But I know it’s there because I take it out on those around me. Often. Sometimes, I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. Which is super unrealistic, I know. But seriously, it’ll happen out of nowhere. I’ll be going through something or maybe not going through something at all, and I’ll just randomly think about something that makes me feel melancholy and that’s where it’ll start. The flow of constant negative energy takes over. Overwhelming thoughts fill my head and I become incapable of imagining anything else but the pain that sits on the back of life, eating at the spine slow enough so that life doesn’t notice what’s going on, but constantly enough so that life can feel it… The kind of lower back pain that stings and won’t go away except with the help of some medicine. Medicine being the happiness that comes with small pleasures which only last but so long. This feels pessimistic but it’s honest. And I’m not saying that my cup is half empty because I’m alone in life.
Plenty of people love and care about me. I get asked “What’s wrong?” like everybody else. I’m around love and good energy enough to know what that’s like. But it won’t make everything okay. For me to expect that would be for me to expect a cupcake to take those back pains away. The cupcake is a delicious and pleasurable snack but my back is still going to hurt after eating it. And I don’t want anyone to think that I just need attention or that I’m looking for sympathy because that’s not it either. I’m not naive enough to think that I’m the only person in the world who goes through things and I know that the things I go through can be compared to others people’s issues and there are comparisons that’ll make my problems feel small but even still, I feel what I feel. You can’t tell a person not to feel their own pain just because somebody else is in worse pain. It doesn’t work like that.
Actually, I’ve learned that pain helps to make a person who they are. We all collect wisdom by enduring experience.
I just wish that it wasn’t so hard sometimes.
Since I’ve gotten older, I like to keep my troubles to myself. I hate having to share that i’m in pain or going through something with someone else. There are times that I will share because I really can’t take it anymore but for the most part, it’s easier to keep it all inside. That way, I know that no one can hold it against me, in any way, shape, or form. Not only that, having to share can make it even harder on me. Which sounds weird. But imagine that in a lot of situations, the things I have to say may not be the best thing to say out loud. It’s kind of like when you stay quiet when someone you love says something you disagree with because you want to avoid an argument. I need to stay quiet to avoid more problems which will only add on the weight that’s already on my shoulders, causing this damn spiking lower back pain I can’t get rid of.
Let me help you imagine.
Before I wrote this passage, something was eating at me. I cant quite point out what it is that was bothering me but of course, it lead me to think about everything I and my loved ones have going on. The things hurting us mentally and physically. So, I became really quiet. I showered and migrated to my room where I knew I would have peace. But I am still living in my mother’s house which means that she will notice when something isn’t right. She texted me from her room.
“Are you okay?”
And how could I tell her ? There were no words to describe what I felt. No words that wouldn’t harm her. All I could think about after reading her text was that this is the woman who gave me life. And how could I tell that same woman, that I didn’t want it anymore?
I responded “Of course. I’ll be over to your room soon.”
At night, when I lay in bed, I can’t help but to feel down.
Sometimes I cry. And then I feel ashamed.
“Rice or Die.
No rice, No life.
All kinds of rice.
White, Yellow, or Fried.”
I made this poem after years of not knowing what to say when someone asked me what my favorite food was. It was my mother who made me realize that I really love rice after pointing it out. She says I get it from Grandma who cooks rice almost every day. My grandma isn’t satisfied with meals that don’t include rice because she’s very used to and content with eating rice almost every day. I wouldn’t say that I’m as extreme as she is but I certainly don’t fall far behind her. I really do love rice. I order it at restaurants if they have it and whenever someone makes it, I have multiple plates. I can’t help myself. I didn’t realize the problem this could be until I began dating Gloomy. Before him, my only two previous relationships were with hispanic men and none of us had a problem with eating rice. I guess it’s a culture thing. Gloomy made sure to make me aware of his lack of love for Rice when he realized that most dinners I made for him included rice and that it would take up most of the space on the plate. The first time he made it an issue, I was extremely offended. I had cooked at home, packed him a huge bowl, and drove over to his house to sleep over. I gave him the bowl, feeling proud of myself because I knew he liked women who could cook, and the first thing that came out of his mouth was a laugh and then a smart remark. “I told myself before you got here… Watch her fill the whole bowl with rice.” I laughed it off in the moment but I was disappointed that everything I had just done wasn’t enough for him. That was around the beginning of us dating. Almost a year later and I’m hesitant to offer him rice as I feel it won’t satisfy him, which I’m not so offended by anymore, but it sucks because even though he eats when I cook, I have to eat too and a lot of the time, I’m craving rice. I’ve had to slow down my rice habits but I know if it were up to him, I would slow them down even more. Sometimes I feel like i’m losing myself by adjusting to him. It’s bigger than the rice. But I always remind myself that it’s okay to learn to adjust and that it can be a positive thing to learn other cultures. My grandma would be disappointed to know that her granddaughter loves rice as much as she does but doesn’t embrace it as much anymore. So would a nameless old friend.. As he was the one who after knowing me for 2 years told me he saw a shirt that he wanted to get me that read “No rice, no life.”
My biological parents have always been very strong teachers. They’ve taught and shoved their ideas into Sicily and I since we were very young. It’s a normal thing for parents to do, as they just want the best for their children and they naturally believe their beliefs are the best. I can recall plenty of times, separately of course, that they’ve had talks with us about not smoking, not drinking, and not ruining our bodies with tattoos or piercings. It had nothing to do with religion as my mom heavily believes in God but was never heavily into church and my father believes there’s a higher power but never believed in religion. It could be how they were raised by their parents or that they accepted society’s say in how we should look or even a combination of both. I’m not sure what it was exactly but I know it took a long time for me to get to where I am now.
I had my ears pierced as a baby because most hispanics like to differentiate their little girls and little boys. Of course, my mom waited until the doctor said I was old enough but that was only just a few months after I was born. I’m not mad at it. I know a lot of other people wait until their child is old enough to decide if they want the piercings but I couldn’t imagine myself without earrings. I feel ugly without them. In fact, I’m super grateful that in our culture, it’s normal for baby girls to get ear piercings early. I think it fits and will follow the tradition with children of my own someday. But after that, my parents never wanted me to get another piercing in my life. My dad has 0 piercings and my mom would share all her old stories about when she was young and got piercings and how she regretted it later on. I was constantly reminded that my parents didn’t have tattoos, that they never smoked, and that drinking was bad. My father doesn’t drink at all and my mom will only have something light occasionally, mostly socially. I always accepted these notions until I became a pre teen. I started noticing all the girls around me getting more and more piercings and I wanted to do the same. It’s not that I wanted to be a follower but I enjoyed the trend. I thought I would look so cool with a line of earrings going up my ear. I began to bother my mom with the question of permission and she continually said no. It wasn’t until my 13th birthday was approaching that she came to me and said “I decided that since you think I’m so strict, I will allow you to make a list of all the things you want to do that I don’t allow you to and for your 13th birthday, I will have to choose one.” I was filled with both excitement and disbelief. I went on and made a list of about five to ten things that I really wanted to do. I don’t remember exactly everything I wrote but I gave the list to my mother a couple days before my birthday to give her time to decide and when the day came she told me what she chose. We drove straight to the mall and I ran to the “Piercing Pagoda” stand. My eyes were lit until the lady was ready to sit me in the chair. I was about to get second holes in each ear but my adrenaline disappeared and my fears overwhelmed me. I almost said forget it and got up from the chair when my mom suddenly interrupted my thoughts and said she would hold my hand because she knew this was something I really wanted. All she had to do to see that I needed her to hold my hand was take one look at my face. No one knows their child like a mother. So anyway, I did it and that’s where it all began. At 14 I asked to get my bellybutton pierced. At 15, she allowed me to do it. Let me remind you that Noad had no say in all of this as he decided to leave and start a new family. At 18 I got my tongue pierced. And also my smiley. At 19 I got third holes in my ears. At 20 I pierced my chest. (That one was a secret between my sister and I). And after constant reminders that even with piercings, my parents would never allow me to get a tattoo because it’s a permanent mistake and will damage my body or ability to get a job, at 21 years old, I finally did it. I Got my first tattoo not too long ago. My sister had an epiphany and said she wanted to do something spontaneous. She decided she was going to get a tattoo. I was shocked. We always talked about wanting one but never made real plans to do it. She offered to get me one as well so that we could do it together, just like the chest piercings. I was scared but I agreed so we did quick research on good tattoo artists in our college town, quick research on which tattoos would be our first, made an appointment, and got it done. Now, I know I was scared for nothing as it was much easier than the very many piercings I’ve gotten. My piercings always came with days or weeks of pain and being uncomfortable. The tattoo felt like a bunch or piercings in the moment, just a bunch of pinches but after it was done, and it didn’t take long, it was done. It healed and I didn’t feel a thing. We told our mom what we were doing hours before it was time; We didn’t want her stopping us. She accepted it peacefully and even stood on facetime while we got them done. She made us aware that she approved of our tattoos as she felt that we chose things that fit our personalities very well. My sister got a ballerina. My tattoo is comprised of symbols. It means : God is greater than all highs and lows. The idea originates from the bible. (Romans 8:39) I made sure I chose a hidden place on my body as it wasn’t done for anyone but myself. I can’t wait to get more.
I found this article. It’s a CNN article. They quoted my pope- The only pope I’ve ever loved (Also the only pope since i’ve actually been old enough to understand and appreciate.)
The article is is titled:
“Pope suggests it’s better to be an atheist than a bad christian”
I found a few things in this article I feel obliged to speak on.
They said that the pope suggested that Christians who exploit people, lead a double life, or manage dirty business, should perhaps not call themselves believers. I agree with him. But I’m not the model example of a great “Christian” as I do not agree with or follow everything taught by the church.
I have my own personal relationship with God and my heart is as pure as I know how to make it. Whenever it isn’t, I recognize it and I pray.
I also saw that he spoke on something I’ve had a disagreement with my mother on.
The pope mentioned it a few times and I want to reiterate the point.
Mom, and anyone reading:
“The Lord redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ: All of us, not just catholics. Everyone.”
After the pope reminded us of this, someone asked him
“Father, the atheists?”
“Even the atheists. Everyone!” he responded.
Pope Francis truly isn’t materialistic. He is a real follower of Jesus and Genuine in everything he lives by. He is one of God’s angels.
I am blessed to have God in me.
And we are all blessed to have Pope Francis in the world.
As I continued to get irked by gloomy, I made jokes about how I was going back to “papis”.
A papi is any male that is of hispanic descent and stays true to the historically hispanic cultures.
He’s the first time I ever actually dealt with a black man. I’ve had crushes on them before but I was either never old enough to have a relationship with them or whenever I was in between ex #1 and ex #2, I didn’t find one I was really interested in. So he’s been my first real experience. I’m not saying that black men or black people are different from anyone else. I’m saying I’m used to being around people that are from the same background or culture that I am. It feels weird to talk about this stuff. It always does. I don’t want to overstep anywhere but it’s a reality. So after tweeting about wanting to go back to papis, I received many opposing ideas; to note it, many from other hispanic woman. I had to respond and I wasn’t sure how I could do it without offending anybody but being true to what I want. Here is what I came up with:
There are plenty of sexy black men out here, yes.
But also, I want someone who will teach my kids to be fluent in Spanish and dance to our music with natural rhythm… who will understand, relate to, continue and even deepen the culture I grew up around. I don’t get that unless I get me a “papi”. At this age, I am looking for a husband. I’m done playing these dating games.
Now I understand how this could be taken the wrong way. I sound like I am unwilling to give a man of any other race or ethnicity a chance. But this is not true. We all sit with an ideal image in our heads that we are willing to configure if the need occur or the situation is right. Truth be told, I’ve never experienced dating white men, or asians, or anything other than hispanic or black at this point. I always said those men don’t even look at me. I’m not the kind of girl they look at it. I’m short, thick, and I have naturally dark brown, (-dyed Black) curly hair and eyes so dark they almost look black. I never had a man of another race or ethnicity offer me anything more than a friendship. I’m not mad about it. It’s just reality.
I have this uncle that I never met. He was the first born child to my father’s mother. He was a full nicaraguan who grew to be a tall and handsome man but he never lived passed the age of 18. I wrote a poem that was inspired by him and the story that his name carries.
He thought she was the one
He thought they’d be forever
He thought that no matter what, they’d always be together.
He thought they were best friends
He thought she felt the same
He thought that through it all, she’d always keep him sane
He thought it was a minor break
He thought she needed space
He thought that in her life, he owned a special place
He thought she would come back
He thought he was so sure
He thought that the love they shared was nothing- nothing but pure
He thought it would be okay
He thought he had control
He thought that he’d never ever walk around with a head- a head so low
He learned he wasn’t strong enough
He learned it was too hard
He learned the girl he loved was busy with bernard
He decided it was time to go
He decided on his own
He decided to take his life and only leave me with a note
He is important to me even though we never met because I’ve always been told by Noad’s side of the family that I remind them of him in so many ways. And like anyone else, I started to believe in the thing that was constantly being whispered in my ear. So much so, that I keep the image of his face with me daily. I based an entire project on him in 9th grade. And I wrote that poem during my sophomore year of college. I believe that my uncle has been reincarnated and he came back to live another life. It is me. I am my uncle Joseph.
I was born to write
I was meant to empower my mother. And my sisters. And brothers. And other latinas that are first generation college grads.
If I don’t follow through with what i’m designed to be, I will let people that I love and care for down. Lives will change for the worse. I will have lived with no purpose.
I will graduate and I will continue to strive for what I want. I will perfect my craft. I will sacrifice time and energy and do what I must to reach my ultimate goals
If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?