I believe in flying.
After Hurricane Katrina, Kay moved to my high school and became part of my fourth period choir class. My opinion of New Orleans became a blindingly colorful, witty, enchanting, oddly beautiful girl. Her personality was impossible to ignore and she always had a small crowd surrounding her in the mornings in the choir room. She quickly won over everybody who knew her especially Clark. After Clark and Kay started dating he invited her to church. When she began to take a real interest in Mormonism it became my responsibility to take her to church because she lived in my ward.
A few months later after her baptismal date was set, Kay called me and told me she was staying at her friend’s house because her mom had kicked her out the night before. I found out later that her mom had attacked her in a drunken rage and told her never to come back. She moved in with us a few days before she was baptized into the LDS church. She organized the few belongings that she recovered from the hurricane into my room and we became sisters. I told Kay things I had never told anyone, not even my parents. I was not a whole person when Kay moved in during my junior year. When I got out of an abusive relationship my freshman year I had dealt with it by rebuilding my life on inconstancies, like people. I had just been floating around looking for something to hold on to.
Kay showed me scriptures that strengthened me and she taught me how much God loved me. She taught me to forgive. She showed me happiness through the Gospel and I began to feel true joy again. I began to feel the laughs instead of just acting through them, and my smiles became genuine. When I had nightmares Kay would climb out of her bunk and hold me until I was able to go back to sleep. She would distract me if my thoughts became too dark. She showed me colors again through her energetic personality and ability to overcome all of her own hardships. She helped me build my foundation on the teachings of the Church and supported me when I faltered. She let me see through her eyes until I was able to open my own. She taught me how to be alive.
This girl had lost everything; her home, her belongings, her family. She had been through so much but she chose to help me. She tore down the walls that I had hid behind and took my hand and helped me do things that I thought were impossible. I can fly; I can do anything, anything that I want. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.