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Stare into a hole in the ground. It has changed into the shape of a rectangle. Look deep into the hole and step close to the edge to feel the sublime of falling in. A beautiful ivory colored casket with caramel accents is slowly but quickly lowered into the hole. The people surrounding you sob a silent screaming pain. Your vision blurs away as water fills your eyes. The strain of holding back tears is difficult as everyone else cries.

Friday November 12, 2010: two days after my birthday. I was still in the birthday spirit as I take a whole week to celebrate the occasion. It is a national holiday to my mother and me. I finished French class, a rather relaxed class from my previous ones. Earlier that day, my advisor summoned me to her classroom after my last class. Believing the meeting had no real urgency, I paced slowly upstairs. Pausing, to get water, I observed the sun land on my face and the bubbles in the water dance around the cup, skirting at the edges. I drank only half of the water in the cup, before throwing it away. I walked up the stairs and opened the door to see my advisor. After a few words she tells me to call my mother. My stomach turned into knots while my pulse began to quicken. The phone rang three times and my mother answered greeting me and asking how my day was. After small talk she says she has bad news. Pause. “Your Aunt Jennifer passed away.”

Utter silence and shock are my responses, then a pound of bricks hit me forcing out the breathless, choking sobs that engulfed me. I could think too clearly. I could hear my mother’s questions, my mumbled answers, the click of the receiver, and then the steps across the recently buffered floor my advisor took to give me a hug. Everything was crystal clear. I walked out in a daze, not registering what I just learned. I walked down the stairs I just walked up, sliding my fingers on the wooden rail as support. The ton of bricks hit me again, and I sobbed and trembled all the way back to my dorm.

That was less than a year ago and now my world seems to be falling back into the right puzzle pieces. Except the puzzle piece that had my aunt in it, that will be forever lost. What will not be lost is what she did for me in her life and even in her death.

My aunt embodied the qualities of a fierce, loving, encouraging, and intelligent woman. She had beautiful eyes and perfectly applied red lipstick that would always land on my face after a welcome or goodbye kiss. Though, her beauty was not two-dimensional. She always had a positive word to say to my mother and me. She expressed to my mother how proud she was of the way my mother raised me. She always encouraged me to keep succeeding in life and keep up the hard work I was doing. I know she supported and loved me. Her loving personality was infectious and is one of the reasons she is missed.

I have learned that I need to live, truly live. No more allowing fear and anxiety to engulf me the way those tears did. Currently, I am applying to college and embarking on my senior year and it is scary and intimidating, but I will not let that stop me. I may have big dreams for a 17 year old that seem unrealistic to others, but I believe and know I will be successful. Going to college will turn my dreams into tangible goals. I am going to be an author and you will see my book in many Barnes and Nobles across the country and even world. I will become an actress and perform to allow people to experience jubilee the way I experience it when I perform. I will help others who have ambitions in life during my quest of achieving my goals. No matter what I will never give up; no one can deter me from becoming the person I aspire to be. I have one last request for you. Believe that my applying to college is not just to access a college’s name or to continue a process of life; it is to become the best Marquita Amoah I can be.


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