This I Believe

Tracy - Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
Entered on May 8, 2007

At an early age I was taught to be courageous, mindful, and to have faith. My mother passed along a great strength to me that I will no doubt pass along to my children. I believe she taught me to be brave.

When people usually think of someone being brave they distinctively think about a person standing up for others, such as is one were in a fight. This is not the specific type of bravery that my mother instilled in me. The bravery that my mother taught me comes from within a person. It is a strength that is unseen by the physical eye—one that can only be felt. She learned how to be brave at a young age herself.

When my mother was thirteen, her father did one of the most selfish acts that one can do to others. He killed himself. My grandmother was left alone to bring up five children that ranged from thirteen to nineteen years old. People thought that the world would end as this family knew it. However, they held their heads up high, had faith, and carried on doing things that they normally did. I believe that my mother taught me to have faith.

Her faith surpassed all the hard work that she had to do. As a child she worked just as hard as many adults did. My mother started picking cotton at the tender age of five. She worked in the field from the time she got out of school until the time she had to go to bed. She learned the value of hard work. She learned what it takes to make it in the world. I believe that she taught me the value of hard work.

Making it in the world was never an easy task for my mother. She could have given up just like my grandfather did. However, she continued to set goals and establish a good name for herself in the surrounding communities as a woman that couldn’t be brought down.

My mother did almost lose her sanity when my brother (Frankie) died at thirteen, but she understood that things happen for a reason. When another one of my brothers (Barry) died, she knew that she could make it through this horrible incident as well. When my mother was told that the company she worked for was going to relocate, she worried about taking care of her family’s financial needs, but she knew that things happen for a reason and that she would make it through this trail as well. I believe my mother taught me that things happen in life for a reason—we just have to figure out why.

My mother is a woman of great strength. My mother is brave. My mother is a great teacher. She taught me that bravery comes from within. She taught me that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. She taught me good. She taught me right. She taught me—this I believe.