This I Believe

Megan - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on October 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family

A Past Worth Living For

I am a freshman in college. In the past, I have worked diligently, often to the brink of break down, to get where I am today. This past, however, is not worthy of revisiting. My real past, the past that makes me who I am today, is what is important. I believe in the past, the real one.

On December 28, 1990 my father was murdered on his way to work. He left behind a family of three; my mother (23), my older sister Katie (3), and myself (1 ½). My mother and father had been high school sweethearts and were finally settling down to family life. My mother was finishing Pharmacy school, and my father was beginning a job as an engineer for a Baltimore based firm. They were both hard workers, had their share of personal struggles, but none like this.

This event has forever changed my life. I have no recollection of my father, any memories or fond times. I do not remember what he looks like through my own eyes, and I do not know what his touch feels like against my skin. I cannot tell you any profound knowledge that he spoke to me as a child that I will cherish for all time. I could not distinguish his voice from a stranger if we were to ever meet. All I have are many pictures, one home video, and the person I am today.

It never dawned on me when I was little that the father I grew up with was not my real Dad. My Mom remarried about 3 years after my father’s death. Katie and I played, laughed and giggled with this man, called him Dad and ran along. I love this man. He takes care of me, loves me, and is there for me when I need someone most. However, it wasn’t until I was older that I understood that my past would never leave me. I was someone other than my new last name entailed.

I will forever look to my past to help me with the struggles that I face today. I often struggle with finding myself in the confusion of every day life. I do not reserve time for myself and frequently end up upset and lonely. My past is a constant reminder that life is only what you make it and that I am the only person who can make me happy. As I examine my past, I understand that all things in life happen for a reason. And now, with my past in mind, I am prepared to come up with a plan to deal with any challenge that faces me.

I feel blessed using such a powerful experience to bring me back down to Earth and find myself again. I do not wish to change the past, but simply to acknowledge it every day. I believe in the past, and all it has to offer for the future.