I am a normal teenager. I love music, socializing at school and I want my classmates to like me.
It is May 10th, this day is going to change my life forever, I don’t know it yet.
I am 16 years old, sitting in math class, watching the clock. Tick, tick, tick. The second-hand makes a jerking motion as it jumps ahead.
I don’t like math.
I am not sure how it relates to my life. I guess you can say I am bored.
The classroom phone rings, startling the teacher. He glances at the phone and rushes over to it. He is eager to get back to that lesson.
“Yes, she is here. Okay, I will send her up” he said. I secretly hoped it was a request for me.
“Nancy, go to the office, your counselor wants to see you.”
I happily gather my books, all the while thrilled to escape the math prison.
On the way to the office I feel like skipping, I am so happy. My chance to talk to my counselor about college.
I walk into the office and my mother is standing there. She looks awful., I am confused, this is not making sense. Why is she standing here? Where is my counselor? She takes my arm and guides me into the principal’s office.
I see two men in navy blue suits. Who are these guys? They look like FBI agents standing there. Blank faces with no expression. I look around, the principal is not here. Why am I in his office? What the heck is going on here?
My mother looks at me and tries to speak “Nancy, your father had a heart attack and died”. Whoa, I could take in the heart attack part but not the died part. “I just had breakfast with him this morning, this can’t be true?” I scream.
My eyes dart from the navy-blue suit guys to my mom. Her shoulders are falling forward as if she is collapsing in on herself. She is talking to me, but I can’t hear anything she says.
I think “what am I supposed to do? my mom does not look like she is going to make it. She is shrinking. How can I help her, oh my God, what is going to happen to us? My body is numb, I am in shock.
At that moment I decided to “soldier up”. I guess it is time for me to take care of my family now. I am the oldest and they need me to be strong. It is time for me to be tough and responsible.
We drove up in front of my brother’s middle school. My mom looks at me “I can’t do this, you have to go into the office, get him and tell him.” My mom is falling apart fast. I do not question her request. I get out of the car and don’t look back. I just do it. Go in, get him and tell him. His eyes fill with tears. I put my arm around him, and we walk back to the car.
Later, we are home. I can’t believe it is true. I keep looking out the front window expecting to see my dad on the porch.
The Italian relatives arrive with casseroles and tears.
A wailing fest begins. My grandmother keeps calling out my father’s name. My mom is sobbing. My aunts try to console everyone. There is no consoling of my mother or my grandmother. The wailing and sobbing continue.
I just want to hide in my room. I do not want to see anyone. Everything is out of control and I am scared. I do not know what to do to help my mom. I have never seen her like this.
A few weeks later I am in church, by myself, looking for answers. “What is the meaning of life? What really happens to us when we die? And the big one, why am I here?”
Have you ever asked yourself questions about the meaning of your life or why you are here? The journey is rich with experiences and expansion.
This led me on a life long quest to create a life with meaning, to explore many religions, metaphysics, and consciousness. I see everything is connected and I know the loss of my father motivated me to live a life with purpose and intention.