My Sacred Place

By Soraya, age 17, Texas

I look out the window and watch as I'm approaching my destination. I remain in total silence. No words are spoken, no sound is heard. I start walking, slowly feeling the cold breeze blowing my hair away from my face. I kneel down as I begin to talk. Talk because I know she listens - I can feel her presence there. I whine and cry about every problem I hold inside. I ask her for advice, faith, and strength to keep on going. In a sudden moment my vision becomes blurry and the wind blows my tears downward ever faster. The tears fall upon her grave and I'm unable to stop. I wipe my face and try to smile.

This is a routine that does not happen very often. My mother comes home from work late and the cemetery is closed by that time. When I do get to visit my aunt I feel so lucky, so alive. She died on November 14th, 2006, my brother's birthday. I feel like my heart is still in denial; it's growing cold. Fidelina Castro meant the world to me. She was always there, and she taught me that if you want something in life, reach for it, fight for it, and never ever give up. She was born in Mexico and came here at a young age. She lived here and got her papers by marrying my uncle. Since that day she never stopped working. Day and night she struggled to push her family far. She had a beautiful two story house with up-to-date cars. Her family seemed to have it all ...

She would go to school during the day and work at night. It was hard because her kids didn't spent a lot of time with her. She finished school and graduated as a nurse. The school provided her with a good paying job. She was very optimistic, a goal setter, and never stopped until she had reached the top. Unfortunately, material things in the end don't matter, because she was dying of cancer. The doctors tried their best, but it was too late. I always tried to smile ...

I tried to smile because I was in denial. This couldn't happen to us, no, not us. Every day that passed seemed eternal as she got sicker and sicker. The doctors said she would die soon and I helplessly watched the painful process. I cried myself to sleep most of the time. I hated the world and I asked God why? But my questions weren't the type that could be answered, for only God knew why he did the things he did. My heart was crushed into itsy-bitsy pieces that no one ever would be able to put back together. The pain of missing her tremendously day by day is immense, so immense that words can't describe even half of it. I struggle to accept the fact that she's gone, but over time my heart is healing little by little. It's ironic how you can have so many material things in life and have a lot of money, yet you don't have the health needed to be able to enjoy everything.

Every day of my life was just like any other day. She was there and it was wonderful. Life teaches you that you should always enjoy your loved ones and live your life to the fullest. The pain that I felt that day when her casket was being lowered is a pain no one else should go through. But that is life, the circle of life. People die and people are born every day.

To this day I try to keep a smile on my face, and laugh because she's in heaven with God. Sometimes it's just hard to keep on smiling when everything inside of me is falling apart. Yet she's the reason I strive to be the best that I can be. After her death I began to change inside, change and mature at the same time. I don't worry about high school drama. I see past those things now. I keep in mind all my goals, and just like she did I will make it to the top.

She is my inspiration in this cold-hearted world. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I'm still breaking my head trying to come up with the answer, but it's useless. At times I get to have dreams with her, my beautiful dreams. When I'm fortunate enough to have those dreams deep inside of me I wish to never wake up, to live the dream forever. When I dream of her an immense feeling of happiness takes over in me, and there's no one in the world who could destroy that. That's how I live my life. I guess that's the only reason I push myself hard and don't let failure be an option. I want to perhaps write a book someday, write so the world can feel what's inside of my heart.

There are so many memories of her that I always cherish. She was wonderful, and I'm never going to get tired of repeating the facts. I wish I could be half of what she was, and yet I know that I can't. In order to be irreplaceable you must be different, and she was always different.

She was the life of all the parties she attended, she was so friendly. Her friends came to her funeral, and some couldn't believe how such an amazing person could be taken from us. Life goes on, heartbroken, but it still goes on. I sit here crying over her departure and look up at the sky. I scream out for her. I scream telling her how much I love her and how much I need her. I feel devastated, destroyed, so beaten. I stay for a long while telling her everything that has happened in my life. She has turned into the best friend I know won't backstab me.

Every year on my birthday I get sad because my 15th birthday party was the last she attended. That day is one of the best days of my entire life. She was there with me. And sitting here with her at the cemetery is the best thing. Sitting here listening to "When You're Gone" by Avril Lavigne. Crying as my tears fall on top of her grave with only the dirt and grass separating us, but in my heart she is so close.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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