My Angel, By Jalaiya Johnson
By Jalaiya Johnson
Growing up I was always a lonely child, afraid of judgement and enjoyed being an outsider. There was no joy in having friends and watching television like a normal child. Instead, I glued myself to books and crossword puzzles. I lived with my mother for a short period of my life. I did not understand why she sent me off to live with my grandparents in Lithonia, Georgia, while my younger brother and sister stayed with her in Houma, Louisiana. I was an outsider to even my own family.
At seven years old my world was changed and my perspective on life became more appreciative. That was the year my sister died. She was just one year under me when a heartless driver trampled her body. Her fragile, young body was dragged seventy feet down the street by his car. When we were together, it was obvious that we were very different. She was more ambitious and friendly even at such a young age. We would constantly fight and argue, because our personalities were so different. At the end of the day, we loved each other more than anything. She was my best friend. Once I lost her there was a hole in my heart, and my mind filled with questions. I often questioned God and cried myself to sleep. Even as I got older, there were thoughts that crossed my mind that were against my beliefs.
Beliefs: for years, I had no idea what they even were to me anymore. I had taken for granted the gift of having a sister. I asked my God several times “Why did you take her?” I even tried to convince myself that she was in a better place, but the thing that filled my soul with darkness was the hate that I had developed for the man who was behind the wheel. He had no jail time and got off with only paying a ticket for one hundred and thirty five dollars. How could you go seventy feet not knowing there was a little girl fighting for her life wedged between your tires? Without hate all I would have felt was pain.
The system had failed me, my beliefs had failed me and all I had left was a hole in my heart. One day I realized she was needed in Heaven and would have left no matter how I felt. God had not failed me; he was showing me many things through my experience. I learned that man cannot define justice. She was worth so much more than a ticket. I learned to appreciate every person that walks into my life, because there is always a lesson to be learned. All those years of living with my grandparents were to give me a better education and make me spiritually strong.
My perspective on life had changed to one that was more based on experience and friendships, not books and crosswords. I’ve started to look for a sister without even knowing, in friendships or even other relatives. I began to develop an adventurous urge. I wanted to be ambitious, see the world how I know she would have seen things. I wonder sometimes about how things would be now. Would we go to the same college or take pictures at prom? The fact is that I have to grow up without her, and it’s tough sometimes. Although she was only in my life for seven years, she changed me and helped me develop into the person I am today. I’m living life for both of us now.