Miami, FLORIDA, U.S.A. — My mother has been sick for quite some time.
Actually, she’s been sick since she had me 16 and a half years ago.
Now, an operation loomed.
The hospital was filled with sick people, but it felt as though my mother was the only sick one there. She was the only one that mattered to me at the time.
Selfish, I know, but that’s how I felt.
The poor old lady who shared a room with my mother was constantly complaining about her daughter being late. I felt relieved that my mother had my sister and myself there to hold her hand and take care of her, to help her eat.
I was constantly biting my nails, a bad habit of mine. The male nurse told me, “Quit biting your nails, you’re in a hospital filled with germs, for God’s sake!”
I smiled and hid my hand behind my back. I heard my mother giggle.
I despise hospitals.
They’re filled with the smell of rubbing alcohol and disease. I loathe even just walking around a hospital, so imagine how I felt having to be there for hours because someone I dearly loved was going into surgery.
I did not leave my mother’s side.
As we waited, the white rooms made me feel as though I was in a box, the walls closing in on me.
When my mother went into surgery, it felt like the longest three hours of my life.
The many infections in my mother’s bladder healed, but now she needs another surgery. She has a gargantuan stone in her gallbladder.
The insurance covers most of the surgery’s expenses, except for one large fee my mother needs to pay before she is admitted into a room. And medicine isn’t very cheap.
So I got a part-time job at a fast food restaurant to help my mother out, and was recently able to give her $400.
She should be having the surgery soon, and hopefully she’ll be as healthy as she was before she had children.
But unfortunately my mother keeps postponing her doctor visits, and it irritates me.
I keep having these horrible daydreams that one night my mom will fall asleep, and come morning, she won’t wake up. And I’ll be the one to find her.
I want my mother to see me graduate, to see me start my career. I want her to be there when I publish my first novel. I want her to walk me down the aisle, and be there for her grandchildren.
It’s scary to think of her not being there to mark these milestones with me.
Being her daughter is a big part of my life, though it’s not the only role I play.
To label me, I think, is nearly impossible. There are so many things that define me, define who I am.
I’m a daughter, a sister, a writer, a student, a worker, an American, a hopeless romantic and a friend.
Well, maybe it’s not entirely impossible to label me. I can be labeled with one word – well, a name, rather – Jenny.
I am Jenny Coloma. I am 16-and-a-half years old. I live in Miami, Florida and I’m a junior at Coral Gables Senior High School.
And this, this is my journal, my memoir, my story. In writing this, I hope, that you, the reader, will take a little piece of me with you.
Jenny Coloma is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International