This I Believe

Kelly - Bermuda Dunes, California
Entered on January 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death

I believe in detours. I believe in the detours that occur in life everywhere, with their many speed bumps, and the extra time and effort that it takes to get through them.

As a seventeen year old who grew up without a father, I have been familiar with detours since I was seven years old. At seven, my father was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor that would take him from me a year later. Throughout the time he was sick, he showed me that although something is trying to defeat you, you never have to give up the reins to your chosen path. He showed me what true faith is; what true strength and determination are. He fought his cancer until he could not anymore, and because I saw his determination shine, I have now taken that determination into myself.

At eight, after his passing, I was left as a lonely “daddy’s girl” with a choice; either stay stuck at the same place in the road, or take that detour and all the lessons that come with it. At eight years old, I took that detour, and yes, it slowed me down throughout the years, but it has landed me at my destination. I now realize that my destination is in the arms of my brother and my mother. These are the two people who have helped me navigate my life through all the speed bumps and potholes in the road.

I grew up thinking of his death as a speed bump in the road of life. Although it was a speed bump hit at 100 mph, the force of his death did not damage my core, but only awakened me to absorb all that is around me. Because of this, I am a much more observant driver as I maneuver the winding and dangerous road of life.

My father’s death has taken me through many detours over the past ten years. Growing up without a father taught me lessons I would have never learned otherwise.

I now live by the theory that in each struggle there is a beautiful blessing in disguise for me; and each roadblock, big or small, will help shape me into a better human being. His death taught me that I could overcome any burden placed upon my shoulders. He showed me that with a positive outlook and strong beliefs I could make it through anything.

I believe in these detours, with all their dusty paths leading to unfamiliar places. I believe that the things that leave me feeling a little unprepared and very lost are what make me who I am. Without these many detours that take me on unexpected journeys, my life would be missing determination, knowledge, and strength.

Just as detours make me a more knowledgeable, more observant, and a stronger driver, detours in the road of life have shaped me into a more knowledgeable and stronger person.