Hey, it’s Selena. I’ll be doing these from now on… I had my young adult birthday today, but I never imagined it would be like this. When I got home from school, I was excited to tell my parents that I finally got an A, and on the last day too! As I looked around, though, I noticed that nobody was outside today, which was odd, cause normally someone was outside… we had to take care of the garden, and our laundry was done outside too.
I heard the front door open, slowly. “Selena?”
“Hey, Jonathan, what’s going on?” I half-expected him to say nothing.
I cried, rushing toward my brother. “Where’s mom?”
“In her room. She hasn’t left all day.”
“I baked you a birthday cake. I know dad always did it, but…”
“Thank you. Really.”
“Why are you sorry? He was your dad too.”
“I’m supposed to be the big brother here, Sel. But I don’t know what to do.”
“We’ll be strong, Jonathan. For Mom, and for each other.” I whispered these words like saying them would make them come true.
I never imagined once this would be how my 18th birthday would turn out. I was just happy I didn’t have to go to school tomorrow, or ever!
Happy birthday to me.
I watered the plants with a newfound importance. My parents, I knew they were old, but I didn’t know they were that close to dying. How we lived for those few weeks, I don’t know. We watered the plants, did the laundry, tried not to literally break-down. I think we all tried to be strong for each other, when we were crying ourselves to sleep every night. We were just distracting ourselves from the reality-our dad was dead. I don’t think the laundry was ever ever done more than in those weeks. I know that I just wanted something to do.
Mom needed a lot of cheering up. She’d sit in bed a lot, or cry, or just do nothing, say nothing. It scared me.
“Mom. It’s going to be ok. Trust me.”
I also think, though, that I learned a lot. If I found something broken, I’d fix it. If the laundry needed to be done, I’d do it. If it was time to have a meal, I’d cook. I grew up so much from doing anything just not to talk to people those days. As the initial shock and sadness wore off, I found myself still doing things myself. I enjoyed being able to do things myself.
I guess this is what it’s like to be an adult, huh? I guess it’s not all that bad.