In A State of Anguish Comes Strength

Emily - Harrison, Idaho
Entered on May 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

In a State of Anguish Comes Strength

I believe that in a state of anguish comes strength. I can still remember the worst day of my life. That’s saying a lot in my short life. I have had many tragedies in my family that have almost destroyed us. After a nasty divorce, my dad lived in Sacramento, California and my mom, sister and I lived in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. We visited him every month after the custody hearing and traded off holidays. Once I got into high school and started participating in sports I was kept extremely busy, I hardly had time for my father’s phone calls. So between the summer of my sophomore and junior year, dad surprised us by coming up to Coeur d’ Alene. It was the end of June two weeks before the fourth of July. He flew in, my sister and I picked him up. Right away we noticed his skinny frame. His tattoos were sagging, no longer tight and menacing. We asked what was wrong, it turns out that he had high cholesterol and was taking medication for it. On Friday and Saturday we went around Spokane for Hoopfest, and Sunday was the Ironman race in Coeur d’ Alene. This race was the qualifier for the championship race in Hawaii. Thousands of athletes worldwide come in to compete at a chance to be called Ironman. We woke up at 5a.m. to be at the Lake for the greatest sporting event in history, the beginning of Ironman. Hundreds of racers running into the water at once, there is nothing more inspiring. I still remember looking up at dad and thinking how lucky I was that he was here to share it.

The following week I was in Coeur d’ Alene when I got a phone call from mom saying I needed to come home right away. She was crying hysterically and she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. Panicked I raced home. My thoughts were racing and I couldn’t imagine what could be wrong. Was it one of the horses, the dogs, or my sister? I wouldn’t know till I got home. Bursting through the door I came upon my sister lying on the ground, sobs racking her body as she rocked herself back and forth. I took in the scene and the words that mom had being previously saying registered. Dad was gone; his roommate had found him that morning in his room. Non-believing and stumbling around I ran screaming into the woods, I had tears running down my face. I was in those moments lost to the world. I sat there thinking what I did to deserve this. Then it hit me this is a test. In times of great tragedies, is when true character emerges. I had to be strong to support my sister and mom. This was what I had to do to make sure we all came through. This I believe, in the state of tragedies comes great clout.