This I Believe

Tori - Marlton, New Jersey
Entered on March 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Strength. Strength can come from many different places. Mostly, strength results when a person is faced with many hardships. Especially when people are forced to find their own way through. The official definition of strength is the ability to do or bear. It means protecting your loved ones, even if that means hiding your own pain. But my real definition of strength comes in the form of two true stories about two very strong women.

The first woman just happens to be my mom. February of last year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. A weak woman would have broken down and asked “Why me?” But not my mom. My mom simply said “Why not me”. Although I know the tiredness from chemotherapy and the burns from radiation must have taken their toll, not once did I see my mom complain or cry, or even show any of the pain she was in. She made it her personal mission to be at every event she possibly could. The cancer couldn’t have come during a busier year. My oldest brother Nick was a sophomore in college, my other brother Austin was graduating high school, and I was graduating middle school. Still, I am proud to say that my mom made it to 99% of all of the many events that took place that year. Whether she came with her wig on, or with her baseball cap with hair attached to the back, she was there. She beat breast cancer. And the best part is that she beat it without letting it beat her.

The second woman that I believe shows utter strength is a woman I just met last year. There is a song that sums up almost everything that she is going through. It says: “What would you do if your son was at home cryin’ all alone on the bedroom floor cause he’s hungry…and his daddy’s gone. Somewhere smokin’ rock now, in and out of lock-down.” She is a young woman with four boys raising them by herself in Camden. She makes barely enough money to feed her kids and keep a roof over their heads. As if that isn’t enough, all four of her boys have ADHD, and her oldest boy has Autism. All of the boys are under 8 years old. Her oldest boy has come home telling her that he is bullied in school. One of his best friends told her that, “A bunch of boys were jumping her son today”. But she stays strong for her four boys who need her.

Both of these women exemplify true strength. Strength takes courage. I believe that strength is the ability to make it through what you need to for the people you love. I admire these women. Especially my mom. She did make it through her hardships for my family and me. Courage and strength can keep families together through the toughest of times. This particular hardship just made me appreciate my mom that much more.