It was a struggle in every way. It
was a struggle to preserve my spirit as everything fell apart, and I
slipped downward into a place of pain, confusion and weariness.
"This is not the way," I often
uttered, especially in that lonely hospital room with the all-too cheerful
pictures on the wall. I wanted to be anywhere but in the midst of
sickness, of blood tests, CT scans, SPECT scans, cardiograms. I wasn't
supposed to be sick. I was supposed to be normal, like everyone else,
complaining about school, sitting around laughing with my friends.
I was sick for over half my high
school years. I couldn't go to school at all, until now, what would have
been my senior year. I am not graduating. I have accepted this fact, so
that it does not prick me anymore when I hold it. But it is a fact; I will
not wear a cap and gown, will not march with the classmates I have known
for 13 years, will not receive a diploma. It seems as if my high school
years barely began and now they're over. Now I must shut a door I hardly
opened. There is no ceremony to help me do it.
So, I think about what I've lost and
what I've gained. Sometimes it is hard to know where this experience fits
in with my life, and where my life fits in with this experience. It is
hard to know where my experience fits in with everyone else's.
I'm walking with the eggshell held
out before me; it rests gently in my hand. I pass by an old couple and a
young woman. They are standing in their driveway next to a car with a New
York license plate. They all look sad, especially the couple. The young
woman hugs first the man and then the woman. They are saying
I feel awkward walking through the
scene, like I don't belong. But then I look down and I see the eggshell in
my hands. I smile as I realize the connection. The young woman is leaving
the nest and I am marching through with a broken egg. I am part of this; I
belong in this impromptu ceremony, even though they're not aware of
I realize it can be my ceremony, too.
I have broken through to a new beginning. I have graduated; this is the
way. I am headed in the right direction. I belong here, right where I am.