Old Cars/Old Memories by Joseph Begay
I remember when some of my relatives told me I could sleep in their broken down car on the side of their house. All the wheels were gone and it didn’t run. There was too much drama in my house and I was getting punched a lot so I took to the streets. It is hard to find a place to sleep that is safe and a little comfortable. I was still going to school so I had to keep clean somehow. I could always show up at someone’s house to eat something but people were getting tired of me showing up. So when my cousin said I could sleep in the car at night and take a shower at their house, it was a step up. I was like fifteen.
Now I’m in a different world. I have a job and pay rent for an apartment. It’s not much but it has a shower and a kitchen and I share the bedroom with a friend. We sleep on a mat on the floor but it is inside and it is a lot better than before.
What is different is that I am going to community college, I have friends, I am safe and I think about what is next. When people ask me where I live, I don’t have to lie. And we are buying furniture and laying tile in the bathroom and making improvements. We buy food and cook.
I never thought I would be making my own decisions about how I would live and I would believe that things can get better and that I can enjoy what I am doing.
I thank the Creator for my job, my house, my friends, my school, my Church and for all the things that are making my world larger and larger. I can’t believe I’ve got it so good.
All I have to do is to think back six years ago when I had nothing to lose.
What changed is that our youth group started making plans to have a different life and we supported each other. I began to believe that I really could change.
What a difference a push can make when people really want you to succeed.