Losing the Faith
Hope and Faith
I consider hope and faith to be two separate ideas. Hope is wanting something to happen whereas faith is knowing something will happen. They can both be lost so easily and are so very difficult to retrieve. I never lost my hope. But there was a time in my life where faith was hard to come by.
The Foundation Crumbles
The picture above is my older sister. She is beautiful and strong. She's independent and a loving mother. My sister is an angel. This is when my faith left me. When my older sister passed away in a car accident when I was thirteen. She was my friend and in a split second she was gone. I remember thinking, "How could God let this happen to someone like my sister?". That question quickly changed to the idea that maybe there wasn't a God at all. Maybe He was made up. And so my faith crumbled.
Leaving the Pieces
It was very difficult for me after the passing of my sister. I couldn't figure out why she was gone or how something like this could happen. I began to lose faith that there was a "higher power". I cried a lot in the years after and found myself questioning time and time again whether a power like that existed. In my teenage mind, that power couldn't exist because then my sister wouldn't have died. I left behind pieces of myself. My faith, heart, and soul were shattered beyond foreseeable repair. I began to write my poetry to try and save myself from the darkness that I could feel was taking over. Pieces were replaced and gradually my fragile psyche began to heal.
March 8, 2006
I remember it all so well
Eleven years as if it were yesterday
It was another rainy Wednesday
School was boring as usual
My English teacher was in low spirits
The anniversary of her father's death
I didn't know how much that would mean to me until much later.
After school we sat in front of the TV
My mom, younger siblings, and I
Watching the 'American Idol' episode recorded
From the night before
I remember the feel of the carpet
Under my fingers
The anger as one of my favorites
Was voted off
He's made some albums since then
But that's irrelevant.
The knock that came with the dark
The broken noise that came from my mother's throat
The two policemen standing outside with sorrow in their eyes.
I remember it all
The way my mom gathered us into her arms
When she told us that my older sister wasn't coming home
The sadness that engulfed my heart when the words sank in
I remember the phone calls to family
The nights spent crying with little sleep
The need to see her one last time
Before she was lost to me forever.
I remember the cards and flowers from concerned friends
The funeral home and church
The tears as the ashes were buried in hallow ground
Surrounded by friends and family brought together by this tragedy.
A weird sort of happiness at seeing
All of the people who loved her.
Then going back to school
With the reality of being 13 without her influence
The realization that I was now the oldest child
Maturing fast to be strong for my family.
Useless meetings with a therapist I didn't want
Eleven years of sorrow and pain.
Eleven years with nothing but memories and a little boy who looks like his angel mother
There was the irrational fear
Of getting behind the wheel of a car
Guilt at celebrating a 21st birthday
She would never see.
Wondering who I would be today if life had been different
But thankful for what it is all the same
Not a day goes by when I don't miss her
But memories and pictures live forever
And the person I am, the person I was shaped to be
Celebrates her life, mourns her death, and loves her every day.
~ Cassidy Kee
Couldn't Go On
I realized at some point between growing older and going off to college that I couldn't go on living the way I was. Having my faith torn from me was ripping me apart. And then I decided to join the Army National Guard and off I went to basic training. It was there in the muggy summer of 2013, far from home in South Carolina, that I began to restore my faith. I had faith that my drill sergeants would help me through that summer. I had faith that my battle buddies wouldn't let me down. Most importantly, I began to have faith in myself that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Through great obstacles, I graduated with my friends. My shaky faith was beginning to reform itself into something new. I went on to become the first in my family to graduate from college, having the faith that I would succeed.
With my multiple graduations and with a heart that was lighter than it had been in years, my faith was made new. But I had seen the dark side of this life and the faith I now had was different. I believed in a higher power, but I refused to give it a name. I was baptized, but I embraced it as a spiritual cleansing. I was whole, but the cracks were still there. My faith has been reformed; it has been tested and proven strong. I'll never be who I was when I was thirteen, but I wouldn't change who I am today for all the money in the world. My faith has been reformed; it has been bent and come away unbroken. It may never be as true as it once was, but it's all that I need and I wouldn't give it away for all the riches in the universe. My faith has been reformed and it's different than yours, but faith is faith and love is love. When one has much of both, mountains can be moved and the impossible can become possible. So, have a little faith, no matter how broken, complete, or revived because faith makes a person stronger than they could ever be alone.