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Giving voice to displaced children and young people.

My grandfather wore a ring on his left hand. Him and my grandmother had gotten it in Jamaica many years ago. On it was a red cardinal with multi-colored triangle designs surrounding it. On the inside of the ring, carved in tiny letters, was the logo of the makers but it is too far back in my memory for me to remember what it said. I was five when he gave me that ring. My small bony fingers allowed the ring to easily slip off, so my dad took the ring away until I was old enough to wear it. Me and my best friend got a friendship necklace and next to the half of a heart that came with the chain I added my grandfather's ring. Once I went on a flight to go see my grandmother at Stanford as she was doing a senior course. When I returned home after a weekend of bathing myself in the California sun I dug around in my backpack to find that my grandfather's ring was nowhere to be found. I felt as if there was a huge hole in my stomach, as if I had somehow lost more of him.

I was seven when my grandfather died. I knew death happened but I didn’t understand it. I remember going upstairs, where my grandparents lived, and sitting next to babas bed. My dad and my mom stood by my side as I held my stuffed bunny close to my heart, as if to protect it. I knew he had been sick for a while because his heart didn’t pump enough blood which was why his feet were always purple. That night my grandmother's dog woke her up in the middle of the night and led her to my grandfather's side. She watched him take his final three breaths and his soul swim away with a smile.

My story reflects on the wider world around me by talking about loss. Us as humans have all experienced loss. We have all experienced sadness. We have all experienced pain either mentally or physically. We have all lost someone close to us and gained someone who changed our lives for the better. This is simply how life works, we are knocked down over and over but find the will and the strength to stand again only now to find that we are stronger than before.

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