My grandfather’s spirit
1st place $50
By John Le, 15, Leuzinger HS
The reason I believe in spirituality is because I saw a spirit before. It was my grandfather. I know people around the world have experienced the same thing. Not everyone believes in spiritual appearances, but if there is a friend or family member who has passed on to another life, they can check up on you.
A few years ago me and my whole family visited my grandparents in Vietnam. My sisters and I were so excited to meet our grandfather for the first time. We had heard a lot about him from my father.
When we finally got there, all of our relatives were waiting to welcome us at the airport. We got to my grandfather’s house, and he was sitting there waiting for us to arrive. He had the kindest face that you’ve ever seen. I felt close to him the minute I laid eyes on him. He treated my sisters like queens and me as a prince. My grandfather was the best thing that ever happened to us.
When the time came for us to head back to America, everyone was in tears. We were so glad we got to spend time with our grandfather.
About a year later, around 3 a.m. one night, my family received an urgent call from Vietnam. My grandfather had fallen, hit his head and was unconscious. My whole family was devastated. My dad immediately bought a ticket to Vietnam, but by the time he got there, it was too late. He had died. My grandfather wanted to see all of us from America before he passed on, but he couldn’t.
Once I heard that he passed away, my heart felt emptiness. I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost. I went to my room and closed the door. I sat on the floor and started to cry. As I was crying, out of nowhere a moth flew into the room and landed next to me. Usually I would kill the darn insect, but I didn’t this time. It gave me the same feeling as when I met my grandfather. Then I knew it was him. The moth was the spirit of my grandfather. I still felt sad, but also warm like the first day I met him. From then on, every bug that I see, I let it go free.
Getting the girl
2nd place $30
By Carlos Adams, Dominguez HS (Compton)
The way spirituality helped me get through a situation was when I saw this girl, and I thought she was attractive. I tried to make eye contact with her. She wouldn’t look at me, so I got kind of intimidated by her. I guess she wouldn’t look at me because there were a lot of girls talking to me.
So as my strong spirit started to kick in, I sat by her. I thought she was about to turn me down, but my confidence was too high. So I talked to her and said some wise things. I asked for her phone number, but she said, "No." I thought something was wrong, so I asked her, "Why not?"
She said that boys can’t call her house, but then asked for my phone number. What a relief. Later that day, I was at home and waited by the phone hoping she’d call. Hours passed by and still no call. I felt stressed out.
Then the phone rang. It wasn’t the girl—it was her best friend. She asked if I got her phone number at a concert and I said, "Yes." I guess she was kind of mad, because she liked me. She said she wouldn’t be mad, as long as I hooked her up with one of my friends.
The next day, the girl finally called. We talked for a while and later hooked up at the movies. Meeting this girl was the best thing that happened to me.
I guess in the end, when the good spirituality kicks in, it helps you solve all your problems. But me and the girl broke up, because she said I was ugly.
My little brother nearly died
3rd place $20
By Maribel Chairez, 13, Mount Vernon MS
I have gone through some struggles in life and with my family. Whenever I think about those struggles, I also think about how we all solved them. I believe that God helped us resolve them, because he gave us faith.
When I was a 9-year-old, my mom was pregnant. At the time my mom gave birth, I was at home and all excited. I wondered if it would be a girl or a boy. Then later I found out that it was a boy named Antonio. He was born on January 17, 1997 and weighed a healthy eight pounds.
I was happy, but also jealous that my brother was going to get all the attention and that I wouldn’t be the youngest in the family.
When he was only a week old, he kept on coughing. I thought it was normal, since I believed that all babies wanted to do was annoy people. My mom knew that wasn’t true. So she took Antonio to the doctor. But the doctor said there was nothing wrong with him. He still kept on coughing. My mom kept taking him back to the doctor.
After three weeks, my mom decided to change doctors. This doctor did X-rays on Antonio. After almost two hours in the clinic, the doctor came out and told my mom that the baby had pneumonia. He immediately called for a cab to take my brother to the hospital.
As soon as I came home from school, I found out that my brother was in the hospital. I burst into tears and somehow felt responsible, because I didn’t like him. I vomited when I went to visit him in the hospital. I felt so disgusted looking at my baby brother with needles and tubes all over his small body.
My mom was very weak, because she didn’t leave my brother’s side for three days. My mom told me to pray. I did. Even though I was a 9-year-old, I had faith that God would cure my brother. That faith also helped my family and friends.
He was so important to me and his death was so painful. I felt like I had lost a part of me.