The time has come....muchas gracias.

Next week I'll be graduating college and I honestly can't believe it! I've waited a long three years for this journey and it's only 10 days away. They say that there is always a reason of why God does certain things. In my case it was graduation, I had planned to finish my college journey with in the two years after attending UCO. The time has finally made it's way and I'm more than excited to be receiving my bachelor's degree in less then two weeks.

Three years ago when I was exactly two weeks away from graduation, I was beyond scared to face the real world. I was about to receive my associates and I still didn't have a job lined up to pay off all the hard work I had put in. I was actually in the process of moving and didn't have any idea where I would be living or working when the following semester was to come. I had been so excited for graduation but I wasn't emotionally ready because that is what I had known for the past three years of my life. I had a great job that I loved and the best coworkers, more like family to be honest. I was surrounded by people who I loved and supported me through the most cherishing moments of my life to the most non-cherishing moments.

The end of April 2013 to the beginning and the middle of  May, I felt that I lived a nightmare... In that moment of my life so much was going on that I wasn't quite sure how I would go on. Throughout that entire time of my life....I attended three funerals back to back with in a month's period. The first funeral was a girl I knew from tech school who I had grown to know and became school friends. No we weren't the best of friends but we were able to relative to things that brought a friendship. I also knew of her because she was related to my best friend and she had also gone to high school with my older sisters. After tech school we didn't see much of each other but if we did we would always exchange a few words and continue on. Well I had recently been informed that she had just had a baby girl and it wasn't until a month later that she passed. I honestly don't know what really happened but it was said that she passed in her sleep.

About a couple days later or a week later, the bad news came through that one of my high school friends had been murdered. Of course like many others I was shocked because I couldn't imagine anyone trying to hurt someone like Michael. He was such a great person, always so positive and cracking jokes. Why on earth would he be a threat to anyone? Why would anyone want to hurt him, I honestly didn't understand. When I found out the news I was beyond crushed, because not only did I lose a friend but many others had also lost a great friend. I was very upset throughout this entire time because a few months before the incident I had seen Michael at the Bee's while I was out with my best friend and I didn't approach him to say hi. He was actually working that night and seem quite busy but what was so hard about approaching him with a quick hi and bye. I constantly kept beat up myself with that thinking that I could have had that last conversation with him and I didn't. The last time I spoke with him was the last few days of high school because he moved away for college. So that one night was actually the first time I had seen him in about a good three or four years and I did regret not talking to him. His funeral bought many of my graduation class of '09' together to reminisce the great times we had all had with the famous "Money Mike." The funeral was so much different but I loved the fact that we were able to reminisce about him and his crazy ways. For those who are wondering....Mike was shot in his sleep. I honestly believe that Mike wasn't the type of person looking for trouble, it just wasn't his way of being. I do believe that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time and that is what caused his death.

A few days after that I was at work and word got to me that a close family friend of mine had gone into a wreck. The news caught me by surprise because this individual was a teenager so I expected him to be at school not out and about. I called my mother to verify the information that I had been informed and to check if everything was okay. To my surprise no one seem to answer so I just figured that my mother had ran to the store and I could call her later on. Well throughout the day I kept hearing things about Nefta and I became more and more concern. I tried calling my mother the last few hours at work and there wasn't anyone home so by then I knew that the rumors could be true but I didn't want to believe it. After work I went straight to Nefta's parents house and that is where I found out...Nefta was no longer with us. The entire block where their house is located was packed with cars parked on both sides. I wasn't able to park nearby so I just found the first spot and ran to the house. As I reached the front of the house I saw so many people standing around crying and whispering. As i walked past all these individuals I followed a familiar sob that came from Nefta's mom. It was all true....Nefta had committed suicide... I sat there hugging his mom speechless. I was hoping that this was all a nightmare and that I would wake up soon but it wasn't. I remember the night before I had seen Nefta at church and his brother and I were joking around with him...everything seemed fine.What had happened to have caused him to do this? Why didn't I pay a little more attention to him yesterday or asked how he was doing? Maybe he just needed someone? These were question that I kept asking myself but I can't keep dwelling on it. The day of his funeral was the same day of my graduation and I just didn't feel right celebrating because I had only attended his funeral that morning to only smile and walk the stage that evening. I had planned to have his family there joining my family and I on my one of my accomplishments but of course it was different than what I had planned. We could do all the planning in the world but it's not always going to come out like we thought.

As I sit here I think about how I thought my graduation would be when it was my time to walk the stage...I can honestly say that it's not what I had expected. I wanted my entire family there; parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and my best friends. Of course UCO doesn't offer that many tickets so I knew this wasn't going to happen. It doesn't hurt to dream, right? Lol. Well graduation this time will be a little different...especially weather wise. In all honestly the difference will be that my older sister, three nieces and nephew won't be there to cheer me on. It's been almost a year that my sister and I haven't really talked and it's not by choice but she just cut me off like nothing. I guess it will make up for missing her graduation but it's not like it was on purpose. All I can do now is hope that the rest of my support group, my day ones, my world...mi familia will be there. We been through a rough year and I honestly wouldn't have done it without them. I'll walk that stage next Saturday knowing that I made another accomplishment because of them. So I'll end it here by saying that I'm freaking graduating and I'm doing it BIG with the ones I love and the ones that helped me through this long journey of mine. Cheers to every single one of them and also the two professors that made my life a little more understanding at UCO, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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