Personal Narrative Essay: The Seat Next To Me

841 Words 4 Pages
The Seat Next to Me
Today, I am sitting in the first row. Behind me, a student with her husband and parents. For decency, I am not crying, but it is pouring inside. I am being inducted into Golden Key Honour Society and both seats next to me are empty. I see some peers with their parents. They were all dressed to the nines. It was as if they were going to a gala. I felt nothing, but envy. For the last four years of my US college education, I have not been able to count on the presence of my parents in any college activities, especially that of my mother. Yes, she is the one in all my church and school photos. I remember my high school prom; she took time off from her
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degree in psychology was not easy. In July 2013 my mother came to the US. I was melancholic; I had not seen her in four years. Actually, that year we talked a lot over the phone. I remember that day, I was at LaGuardia 's Fitness Center running and listening to Delilah on the iHeart Radio app when Wilson, my brother, called me and left a voicemail: “Please call back, Chemi- my nickname- mom wants to talk to you”. I called to the Dominican Republic. She was not feeling well. She had cataract surgery and was bleeding a lot. Her voice was monotonous and sober. It did not sound like Mami. I felt something wrong was happening. A month later, the news broke, the doctor said, she had lymphoma. I did not know what it was, but I looked it up and it was cancer.
Still, we kept our optimism. My biggest wish was that she made it to my graduation on the 4th of June 2015. I wanted to give her that gift, at least some happiness despite all her hardship. She worked so hard in the street selling lottery tickets so we could survive. Now, in Brooklyn, New York she is lying down on a bed taking pain killers all the
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I have been diligently going to school and being a little away from Mami. Yet, every week I come with her for chemotherapy at NYU Hospital on 34th St. But, she collapsed in November. I haven 't forgotten that night I went to visit her at 10 PM. My father had won the lottery and he offered me a hundred dollars. I came there and she said, “Why did you come so late? Just go home he has not gotten the money yet. Tomorrow you come and I will give it to you.” It was the last day I saw her walking. The following morning dad called and told me she was in the intensive care unit at Woodhull Hospital. I cried of anger. I couldn 't believe it; I saw her last night and she was fine. I went in the morning and she was extremely delicate with the oxygen tank on. The nurse said “she may be having a heart attack.” A few hours later at 12:00 am we were at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. This was the last hospital she visited. On December 5, Mami, grandmother and my dad will be taking a JetBlue flight to Santiago. I brought them to the airport in an ambulance and accompanied her to the security gate, but I could not go any farther. It was the last time I saw her. She did not come to my graduation ceremony. Nonetheless, she has always been present in all my events sitting quietly in the empty chair next to

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