Rations designed for reflection: Adversity

One thing you need to realize is that the perfect moment doesn’t exist. Stop waiting for it, because it’s not going to come. Whatever it is that you want to achieve, you have to realize that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort. You’re going to fail a lot of times, there’s going to be times where you feel like giving up, and you have to push pass that. Once you realize what it takes to succeed, the sacrifices that you have to make, the things that you have to give up. Once you realize that it takes your whole life, it consumes you, it becomes a part of who you are. Once you’re ready to make the sacrifice, a whole new world will open up for you. Don’t be discouraged by this, this should fuel and motivate you to work harder.

When I was a senior in high school, I had plans of going off to college once I graduated. Like most seniors, I took the SAT exam, applied for schools, financial aid etc. etc. I was 16 years old most of my senior year, but a lot of people told me that I was very mature for my age. I didn’t realize just how much my life was going to change by the end of my senior year. I had no idea how fast I was going to have to grow up. Let me tell you about the most devastating day of my life.

It started off as a normal day just like any other. I woke up and got ready for school, had a quick breakfast of Cap’n Crunch, then I knocked on my dad’s door so that he could take me to school. He was half-asleep and had not been feeling well all week. I decided to just let him rest so I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. It was about a 30-minute walk to school and since I was getting into the habit of waking up early I had plenty of time. I was a little upset that he couldn’t take me. The rest of the day went as normal as any other day could have. After school I would usually go hang out with my friend Dontae, we would hang out listen to music and talk about life. I don’t know if he was busy that day, or if it was just fate, but for some reason he told me that I should probably go home. When I got home there was a strange, sweet smell in the air, it’s been over 16 years and I’ll never forget that smell. I put my backpack down, went to use the restroom, and then went to my dad’s room to check on him because he hadn’t been feeling well.

His door was partially closed but I could see through the crack that things were different. He was laying on his stomach with his head turned to the side inhaling and exhaling very loud and very fast. Another part that I have to mention is that he was wearing only a T-shirt and there was a cup next to his bed filled with some sort of liquid. I went up to him to try and wake him up, pushing on his shoulder yelling “Dad! Dad! Wake up!” His eyes were open but he wasn’t responding or waking up. I immediately grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1. I explained to the 9-1-1 operator that my dad’s eyes were open, that he was breathing, but he wasn’t responding. She immediately asked me if I could try to wake him up. I told her that I did and that they needed to send somebody right away. When the ambulance got to our street they passed our house and headed down to a neighbor’s house where their dad had been to the hospital many times. I ran out in the middle of the street and flagged them down to come to the right house.

When the paramedics arrived, they went to the room and immediately they asked me if my dad had diabetes. That sweet smell that was in the air, was his body trying to release toxins and keep him alive. That cup next to his bed filled with that strange liquid, it turns out it was urine, he didn’t have enough strength to get up and go to the bathroom. He had been complaining all week that he couldn’t stop pissing. To this day I’m thankful that Dontae told me to go home because had I not, who knows how much more time he would have had. I remember calling my oldest sister and telling her what happened. She told me to get in the back of the ambulance and ride with him, but I didn’t. I called my mom and told her what happened so that she could come pick me up and take me to the hospital because my brother that stayed with us was out of town. I notified as many family members as I could and I stayed pretty late in the hospital that night. My mom took me home that night and I asked if she could stay with me, because after what happened I needed someone to be there. She had a lot of disdain for my father and told me that she couldn’t stay inside “that house.” I spent that night alone, and it’s a night that I will never forget.

To be continued…




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