Life throws so many curve balls that sometimes we get hit with a few. For me, life threw the biggest curve ball to me in 2013. That was the year I lost my beautiful mother. She was my everything. My mother gave birth to me in 2000 and about a year or two later she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was too young to know at the time what that was, but as time went on, I grew to know exactly what it was.

My mother got really weak and she began to lose a lot of weight. When I was about 10 she came to me and told me exactly what her health was looking like. It wasn’t so good. She ended up getting a pacemaker because her doctor found a tiny hole the size of a pin top in her heart. The news was something I couldn’t take because I always wanted my mother to get old so I could take care of her.

On top of my mother being ill she was also a smoker. This was a habit that I constantly asked her about: “Mom, why do you smoke those cancer sticks?”

Her answer every time was, “It helps me deal with a lot that I’m going through and calms my nerves.” I never could get her to stop because she was a grown woman and she had to stop on her own. I just wanted her to live to see her last born and my eldest siblings become something great in life. Our fathers are unknown and whoever they are, they were never around. I just couldn’t deal with a lot of the things that were going on with my mom. I just wanted her to help herself, but somehow it was all coming to an end.

Around 2012, my mother ended up having a stroke in the back room of my grandmothers home. From that day she just went downhill. She had to stay in a nursing home for physical therapy. The last thing we wanted to do as her kids was to put her in a nursing home. As time went by my mother got better and better, but then things changed drastically and she began to not even speak. A lot of people think it was because she was only having conversations with God.

About a week after those “quiet” episodes, she turned back to normal and began to start walking little by little. She was doing so well that she was able to come home the upcoming Friday. Everything was moving good.

Just imagine going to school so excited because it’s celebration Friday. Your mother is coming home and you have all of your work done. I was so excited, only to get called to

the office during first hour to check out. Imagine seeing your aunt, who you never see, come pick you up, walk you to the car and seeing your brother and niece in the car and asking, “What’s going on?”

Never not once did I not know it was dealing with my mom. I just thought it was that she couldn’t come home or she had gotten back to her old quiet stage. I never imagined I would hear the word from my sister, “Nesha, Mom is gone.”

I was a lost soul. To see her and feel how cold she was when we went to see her in the nursing home just made me run away and break down.

Losing my mother was a big wake up call for me because I had to grow up. I had to find a job and start getting stuff for myself at 15. I stayed with my grandmother up until she ended up passing in April of 2017 due to breast cancer. My grandmother was my last resort. She was like our other mother/father. She was the missing piece to us. Losing her and my mother made me grow up even faster. I had senior dues to pay for, graduation stuff, I had to buy food, wash clothes, clean up the house that my grandmother left to us, and just take care of myself.

I had no other financial help. I stayed with my oldest brother, but I did everything for myself. I couldn’t just be a regular teenager because the money I earned went to necessities. I had to be a responsible young adult from then to now.

Neither my mother nor grandmother worked because of disabilities, so even when they were alive we lived check by check. They didn’t have life insurance that would have left us financially stable if anything ever happened to them. When my mom passed my grandmother had to take out loans to pay for her funeral and when my grandmother passed her children paid for her funeral.

If they had life insurance I think I would be able to pay for college without any loans being taken out. I would be able to get books, things for my dorm, pay tuition, and have some left over for my everyday life. I may have been able to get a reliable car instead of hitchhiking here and there. Bills would be paid on time and me and my family would be at least comfortable enough to live. Not having insurance leaves the deceased and the living in a bind. My job is the only thing I have and once I leave for school, I’m going to have to find another one to help pay off everything.

I plan on attending Grambling State University this fall of 2018. My major is biology. I’m going to become an OB/GYN. I chose this field because health is important and being able to help bring new life to the world is something I would love to do. Losing loved ones can redirect your life. Helping others with their health, hygiene, babies and anything they need will put a smile on my face.

This scholarship would help me pay for school, my expenses I have, help me start on

paying off the loans I have already, and just give me a chance to breathe and relax. I’ve never received a scholarship of this amount or had any type of money of this amount. This would cover my whole time in school and help me with the things I need to keep going and succeed in life. I would love to win it but even if I don’t I’m more than thankful to just share my story. I know my mother and grandmother would be proud and I want to make them even prouder by becoming everything they knew I could be.