A Student Response From:
On Friday, while sitting in class, I received a text that my nephew had finally succumbed to the cancer that had been eating away at his body all the four years he was on this earth. I think of him as I look at my foot, thinking about the surgeries I’m scheduling between classes and how hard I’ve fought to keep my leg. Right now, I’m thinking that if I had let the Army surgeons amputate my leg from the knee down, I would probably have a pretty cool prosthetic and, maybe, wouldn’t be bothered by this painful limp. Who knows? Before I moved to Albuquerque, I was one of the few who was allowed in his wing of the children’s hospital; to hold him while his mother slept. I held him four days a week for four hours, sometimes more. I know that in those moments, I was making a connection to him that couldn’t be explained. Even though he couldn’t speak, we could share our feelings. That, somehow, I was able to take some discomfort and pain away from him. Those moments are mine now. I’m grateful for the beautiful city I live in, and I’m grateful for the time my nephew gave me. I’m grateful for the example my ancestors gave me. And grateful for being able to be the Tio that he needed before he passed. I’m grateful for my leg; it’s mine, and I’ll fight for it.