The first time something big happened in my life was when my brother was arrested and went to prison. I always think about how adults tell kids we don’t understand serious things because we are young, but the thing is, I knew where he was going and what it was for. When he got sentenced to ten years, the courthouse was as quiet as a ghost town. I remember my family crying while I was over there just straight-faced, but I was feeling all these emotions like anger, sadness, and resentment. At the same time though, I knew he would be better in there than on the streets fighting. After he was gone everything was calm; he wrote to us and my mom would write to him. A couple years went by, and then my mom got a call from my other brother saying that my brother’s dad had died. My mom just burst into tears as well as my sister, and since my brother was in prison, he couldn’t go to the funeral, but I went. I couldn’t even cry, not even a tear, but I felt so much pain and sadness, which then turned into anger. So then when I went back to school the next day, I didn’t want anyone to talk to me, not even my closest friends.
Just recently I got news that my brother is getting released in October, but they said he has to do his parole in the city he lived in before he got arrested, which is Redwood City. He doesn’t have a home there anymore because his dad died and our other brother lives in Pittsburgh. We can’t afford to get him an apartment or anything, but my Uncle Ruben called and asked, “Can Anthoney stay with us in San Francisco?’’ The parole officer has not responded to him, so I’m mad about that.
Just this Monday I got news that a very close person to my family—someone who is basically my family—died and now I just feel disgusting. The first week that I found out, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like there was something missing from my life now. I couldn’t even go to school Tuesday because of how I felt. I just kept replaying all the memories I had with her. Her name is Rosie. I just kept replaying when they told me how she died. Lorina said, “She was driving late at night in Half Moon Bay and crashed into a pole. Then she got ejected out of the car and fell off a cliff which they said was two hundred feet.” They also said they found her washed up on the beach, and she had a lot of broken bones. Every time I think about it feels like I’m about to break down, but I don’t want to.
When I first knew this world was a crazy big mess was when I was in kindergarten, but I’m grateful that I had those experiences because I feel like I am a stronger human being because of them. Has my life been the easiest? No, but I wouldn’t want it to be easy. All the things I’ve seen made me wiser and more aware of my surroundings and what I get myself into sometimes. Things always happen whether it’s bad or good, but I just think that when bad stuff happens that good stuff is there to make up for it. I’m just going to keep powering on and working hard so I have a successful life and an enjoyable one.