Image via WikipediaI didn't grow up with God in my family. It wasn't until I was about eight or nine years old that I started to believe. I thought that it was cool and something fun for me to do. So I started to read the Bible a little and memorize prayers, and I prayed at night when I remembered. I became a Christian on my own, because I wanted to. I did not grow up with God hanging over my head and my parents dragging me to church every Sunday.
I met my best friend in the whole world when I was 10. Her name was Yvonne and she was the littlest in her family of a single mom and two older brothers. Her oldest brother was an older teenager and her other brother was a mentally retarded 10 or 11 year old (my age). Though she was younger than me, we became friends very fast. We played outside together everyday we could, and really loved each other. I felt like she was my little sister at times, if I said my favorite sport was soccer so would she, if my favorite color was baby blue, so was hers.
One day we were playing outside and she was complaining about how her leg/hip hurt. She said she told her mom about it but her mom said it would go away and gave her some pain pills. It didn't go away. She complained for maybe two more weeks, and then her mom finally went to the doctor to get some x-rays. A few days later I learned that my best friend had cancer. I was 10 and couldn't completely understand the severity, but I did soon.
About a month or so after we found out she had cancer, they started her on chemo-therapy. And one day she came home with a hat on and everyone was fussing at her to take it off. I didn't really understand until she took off the hat. All her lovely, long, wavy hair was gone. I can remember the look on her face; she looked so sad, and all I wanted to do was make her feel better. After that we stopped going outside a lot because the treatments had made her sick.
A few months passed and now she is in a wheelchair. I take walks with her and push her around outside, but it wasn't the same. She just seemed to get sicker and smaller every week. Then when her and her mom got back from the doctors one day late at night, her mom called my mom outside to talk and I had to stay outside. But I wanted to know what was going on because her mom was crying. So I peeked out the window to watch them talk and the next thing I see is them just holding each other and balling. I got that horrible feeling in my stomach and I knew at that point what was wrong. There would only be one reason for so much crying. Yvonne wasn't responding well to the treatment, she was going to die.
After that, everyone got really depressed and I didn't know what to do. I just kept doing what I always did with her. I stayed over at her house more often, tried to stay happy. It was coming up to my 13th birthday, and when it arrived she came with me to my grandparents house. I felt bad because she slept a lot, but I was glad she was there.
So now I had had Yvonne for 3 years in my life. Starting out, she was an energetic little girl who loved to play; now she was a sickly, sad little girl that knew she was going to die. But we prayed. We prayed all day and night for her, begging for her to get better. Her mom even had the church come to her once, and they had a whole big thing just for her. We had almost the whole city praying for her. Her mother was a good Christian lady who took good care of her children. Yvonne was an innocent little girl who gave her heart to god. And I was a devoted friend who prayed very hard for her.
I can remember the day she died quite well. I woke up in my room and was getting ready to go and see her. My mom told me that I had to take a shower before going over there, so I pouted as I took my shower. When I came out of the shower and was all dressed and ready to go, I heard someone crying. My father was in the bedroom crying, my dad didn't cry. I asked him what was wrong but he wouldn't tell me. So I went to search for my mom. I was walking down the steps as she walked into the door just below me. She was also crying and I was starting to panic. I asked her what was wrong, and it took her a minute to tell me. She told me she was dead, and i collapsed on the stairs.
I don't remember what happened after that but I remember being told that we should go and see her before the people come and pick her up. I was afraid. I didn't know what a dead person looked like, and she was my best friend. But I went with my mom anyway and just remember that there was a lot of people and I was sitting on the living room floor staring at my dead best friend being held by her mother. Everything after that just blurred together.
Yvonne died of cancer when she was just nine years old. Why? Is it because she wasn't worth saving? Was it because she didn't believe enough? Was it because we didn't pray hard enough? Or was it because there wasn't a god to save her in the first place? These questions haunted my for the next year or two. Eventually I came to my senses and realized I had prayed so hard to nothing. How could there be a god if a 9 year old can die? It doesn't make sense. The funny thing is that I was told that god wanted her to be with him in heaven. Then I concluded that god was greedy, horrible, and unfair.
If God existed, my best friend would still be alive, the world would be a peaceful place, and people would be happy. Because this is not so, I feel betrayed and now believe that the whole god thing is just another way to make people compliant and obedient.