While reading You Owe Me by Miah Arnold, I found myself tearing up multiple times throughout the essay. She made me feel as if I knew the kids who were dying. The essay opened my eyes more to how real God is and how these children show evidence of being close to Him. Arnold expresses this by saying “that whether or not there is a Supreme Being, There is an afterlife” (Arnold 30). One experience she had was with this young boy named Gio. “Once he received news of his impeding death, he changed…with an overwhelming generosity of spirit and the most intense humanity I had ever witnessed” (Arnold 30). When talking about the children’s writing, I thought it was interesting how “when they do write directly about their cancer, they don’t write poems, they write essays detailing their experience. Except when a child is about to die. Then they often choose poetry; they often speak directly to God. These poems are angry or they are hopeful” (Arnold 34). This makes me think that when you are near death, you are closer to God. You know your time is coming to an end on Earth and that you will be going to a better place. The poem that Arnold put in this essay made me cry. I found myself getting upset because this kid seemed so young but so in tune with God. He said “what thought I have of You tonight, God. You protect me and You make giant waves and wash people away. You owe me… God, I see You playing videogames in my room” (Arnold 34). The part about videogames shows how young this poor kid is but yet, they know that God is doing this for a reason even if it may not be fair to them.
I related to Arnold about working with people that end up dying on you. I volunteered at the VA medical center in New Hampshire when I was a freshman in high school. My mom worked there, so I went to work with her. My volunteer station was at the help desk. I volunteered with a lot of older veterans who I became close with. I remember sitting at the desk with Ray. He was an WWII veteran and was in the air force. He would tell me stories about his childhood when you could get the newspaper for five cents and he would sometimes tell stories about the war. He came everyday with his wife. They were so cute and you could tell they were in love. When I found out Ray died, I was so upset. I ended up going to his wake and his family was so happy I came. He was very inspirational and I learned many things from him. He had an impact on me just like the kids having an impact on Arnold.
I liked the way Arnold ended the essay. I was about to be so upset if Amirah was going to die. It goes to show you that these kids are still kids and they can get hurt just like anyone else. I feel like Arnold will never be able to leave because there will be another kid needing her help and attention causing her to get sucked in again.
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