Reset after Sharp Edges

By Mayra Dona Elizondo  |   From : Nicaragua  |   School : Plantation High School

Some day you may look behind and know how much you will miss those little things you though were nothing but insignificant. Years after and with each passing day I can not help but feel this way. 

I was born on Managua, Nicaragua on December 12, 2001. I grew up with a family that had little but much; a small family that consisted of my grandmother, my mom, my two older siblings and I. Nobody else was on our pictures, just us. 

I always lived with them, I went to the same school my whole family went and I spend most time doing what I love with the support of every one of them.  

Up to this day I can’t say my life was bad back in my country. My mom was a successful person in her career, one of the best and recognized architect around the universities; she always worked, day and night every day; she went through sweat and hardships to give me the best education that the country could afford; she helped me, she instructed me, she guided me and she helped me shape a path even when I was not the best one of my class. She was proud of me. 

I was happy… 

Or I thought I was. 

Being a little girl, not knowing much stuff about life, I was oblivious to everything.  

I didn’t have a dad. 

It was a small family, with some other close ones from the other side – from my other last name. 

But again, even when I went through some hard times because of family issues or school problems, I was happy.  

But I was also insecure and unsure. 

Back in the days, I never spenmuch time with mom since she had to work a lot. She would leave before it was my time to get ready for school and she would come home when I was getting ready to sleep or I was already knocked out. 

School… huh, I honestly was not the best student. I was known for my dance performances and how “funny” (as some people said) I was.  

I was a shy kid though… I kept many things to myself because I didn’t trust the people around me. I feared getting hurt and I had a lot of self-esteem issues. 

I always had a close circle and at some point… it was just me. 

Until he came. 

My stepfather was my mom’s friend when they were kids, a long time ago. 

He moved to the United States when he was around twelve years old, leaving the country behind and my mom who was his girlfriend back in the day. A very romantic and sweet story, really. 

He came back to Nicaragua more than thirty years later and reunited with my mom. Everything happened for a camera which was a gift from a friend of my mom who unbelievable or not, that friend was my stepfather’s sister. 

And everything fell in place… like the last piece of puzzle of our life was found. 

At first, I was very dubious of him… I didn’t know who he was and what he wanted with my mom. I was very protective over my mom after knowing my biological dad and how he left her, so my first thoughts were to protect my mom from every person that may want to hurt her. She didn’t deserve any bad on her. 

However, after some time… I noticed that he was trying to know me and my whole family. My mom looked genuinely happy with him and he was happy too. In a matter of time, he took that empty space I had my whole life and he filled with his own love.  

He became my dad… my real dad. He married my mom and they made the decision to move to United States. He really loved my mom; he really loved me and as a child who never felt the love of a father, I was at the brick of tears. He didn’t have the obligation to take care of me, of taking me to United States… but he did.  

Now, I never thought of moving out of the country much less going where the language was completely different from what I knew. I knew English since my school provided the classes and I was one of the best students, but I never thought of it as a language that I would be using on my future. Well, here I am. 

After two years, we moved from Bello Horizonte (where my grandma lived) to El Doral, Mateare, which was far away from my original home and the school. So usually, I had to wake up at 6 am to get ready for school, after moving I had to wake up at 3 am since the bus drive would be take around two and more hours. 

Our new home was small, but it was good enough since it was only my brother, my mom and me.  

I had my own room and my brother usually slept with my mom since her room had the air conditioner. My room didn’t have one, but with the window open, the breeze of the night would cool down my room. Either way I would end up closing the window at some point during the night since I feared bugs may get in the room. I didn’t want to deal with those things. 

  Not much time after moving, I fell ill. 

While sleeping my lungs gave up on me. I woke up in the middle of the night, trying to breath through my mouth but nothing was coming in, my nose was totally blocked, and I remember moving and gasping for help. That night I decided to sleep with my mom, who woke up in matter of seconds feeling my struggle. 

My brother, who woke up due to my mom screaming at him, rushed me to the car while my mom was searching for her license and some warm clothes for me. According to my brother, I was freezing, but I was also sweaty. 

After my mom got in the car, I looked at her for some longing seconds and fell unconscious. 

I still remember her face as I fell into darkness. 

I woke up been surrounded by machines. A long tank of oxygen by the side of my bed and some other equipment which I didn’t recognize was also in the room. Close to the bed, with her hands together and sitting in a chair was my mom. Her smile gave me light, happiness and hope, I felt glad to be alive and with her again. 

Doctors said my lungs were full of phlegm that avoided oxygen to get in and adding to that, I had three different illness – bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia. 

I spent roughly one month at the hospital, which according to the doctors it was a miracle that I was still alive due to all the illness I had and the state of my lungs. They said that the amount of sports and other physical activities helped my lungs sustain themselves. 

During that time at the hospital, my mom never left my side. My dad always asked for me and called my mom to ask about my health. In general, everybody of the family was daily asking about me, my mom always said how I felt and since the first days I couldn’t talk much, she did it for me.  

After been released, my physical activities decreased exponentially. I never did track again, since that was the sport I did back in the day. I never danced again, and I decided to focus more on my studies than anything else. 

 After going through that, everything went well. My mom and I moved with my dad to US and my life was flipped upside down… It was a sharp turn. 

I came here to start the last months of Middle School. Dominating English was not as hard as I thought; going through the last year of Middle School was, a little bit. Since the education was completely different, I felt like I started over. Like everything I learned during my past years was nothing. 

At that point, I went through a phase. 

I fell into depression. 

I didn’t know what to do during school and even when I had like five or six people who I called friends, I didn’t want to bother them.  

I felt like they wouldn’t listen to me. 

Really silly of me, right? 

Middle School came to an end, an even though I overcame my depression with the help of my mom and one of my closest friends, I made some good and bad memories. 

One of those memories… affected me the most. 

My mind went override. I remember that everything stopped, how the word that my mom muttered made an echo on my head, how the trails of tears felt so cold against my cheeks and how the name of my grandma made a puzzle over my eyes. 

My other grandmother who I loved with my whole heart was not here anymore.  

The thing that crumbled my heart more was remembering her last words before I left the country. 

She knew that she wouldn’t be alive for my next birthday. And she said it. 

She told me that I wouldn’t see her again in person. 

I spent over month with nothing than a solid expression. 

I wanted to press reset. 

I wanted to believe that my grandma was still alive and sometimes (up to this day) when I call my aunt, I can’t stop my brain from thinking about her. My mouth wants to pronounce the words… “Where is my grandma?” 

Up to this day I still remember her. I can’t see a picture of her and not avoid the tears from coming out. I regret not spending more time with her when I had the opportunity.  

And with her, I remembered the family I left there. 

Even though I want to go back, I can’t. 

If I go, seeing how Nicaragua is right now. I would probably have bullet through my chest once I step outside the airport.  

I don’t want that, I wouldn’t let my family go through that. 

I miss them, not going to lie. It hurts knowing that one day my mom would say the words again, I don’t want my grandma, my siblings, my nephews or anybody from my family to die as I sleep only to wake up to the bad news. 

Leaving them was the hardest thing ever, and I think my mom had it worst since her daughter, son and mother are back there living under the pressure of the corrupt government. 

I feel with her. 

I’m scared for my brother and sister. I’m scared for my nephew, the oldest one who didn’t want to let go my leg when I had to go. I’m scared of seeing them again. 

The only thing I can do right now is make them proud. Show how successful I am here, how many accomplishments I have made so far and how big I’ll grow so one day when we get reunited, I have stories to tell. 

I want to live my life without regrets, so each day I try my hardest. I try to talk to them each day, even if it is one message or one picture, I talk to them. I play online with my brother. I chat with my grandma and my aunt. I think about them each time I have a game, each time I have an assignment, so when the results come, I can say it was for them. They gave the strength to take the burden on my shoulders and be able to handle it.  

Yes, I’m still scared. 

Yes, I’m still in pain. 

Yes, I’m still going through phases that tend to leave scars in my mind. 

Yes, I’m still a teenager with a mind of a kid and an adult at the same time. 

Yes, I’m human. 

But just because I had some bad events during the first part of my life, doesn’t mean it would not get better. 

It will get better, because that’s what I want.  

I came here, and I hit reset like a game. 

The data was still there, and I was glad. Because without that data I would have lost myself. 

This is a story of how I went through some up and downs. How my personality changed, how my point of view was slowly and how started seeing the value of the little things. 

A simple story, nevertheless, is my story. 

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