Incomplete – Margarita Juarez

FIRST PLACE, Grades 7-9 Division, 2003
Grade 9, Bell Multicultural Sr. High

The following is an excerpt:

Waking with the sun, the questions from the night before returned. Whose clothes were in that bag?  Why were they stained red? Why was my mom crying? Why was I sent to bed early?

Running down the stairs, I saw a room full of strangers, people who had never come to my house before. Wearing black and crying, I realized that they all knew what was going on.  It seemed like I was the only one that did not. I became the stranger in my own house. Looking for something I understood, I went directly to my mother. My mother looked straight at me, as if breaking that glance would stop her breath.

‘Margarita, daddy died last night.’ She told me as if she were telling me a secret.

‘What-Why-How?’ I cried out, linking all the questions like one word.

“He was shot.’ ….

When I was eight a chapter was closed and a new one opened with a loss of innocence. I see death and violence in a new light. Never understanding why, just having to accept without a chance to say goodbye. Nothing lasts forever. We all grieve in different ways. My family and I suffer; my mother has had to work hard.  It was a gain though because I learned my family will always stick together. Now I sometimes feel incomplete because I see friends with both their parents and I only have one parent –my loving and caring mother. When I see other people disrespecting their parents all I have to say is cherish them. If not, you may regret it because you never know, tomorrow or the day to come, you may lose them. It is hard, no matter which way you lose them.  And no matter what, no matter how much you love, give, forgive, and remember, you are always a bit incomplete.”