This I Believe

Jenna - Manchester, Tennessee
Entered on October 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

I was thirteen when my parents divorced, and although the screaming no longer echoed though the halls of my mother’s house, it was only the beginning. It took time for my siblings to forgive her, so every day she had to battle her worth and the bills. As life continued on things began to smooth out; my sister, my brother, and I adapted to the new arrangement and mom got a job that paid a little better than the previous one. Still, money was an issue, but we got by. My mother has always been strong, and has only become even more so throughout the years.

Four years later my family would be tested to see how much we could truly withstand. On my way home on a chilly October night, I received a phone call that would change my life. I was told that my house was on fire, but never told the extent of the damage. As I approached the top of the hill to reach my mother’s home, I could see the flames shooting up into the sky. I ran to my mother and all we could do was watch the memories go up in smoke. We lost everything; the house I had grown up in that was built by my mother and father was gone. My mother had to start over.

The next two years went up and down for all of us, but it did not matter what happened mom would do whatever it took to hold things together. Rebuilding our house quickly went from a new project to consuming our lives in a few short months. From the contractor stealing from us, to other workers not completing their jobs, I honestly don’t know how my mom kept her composure. Every day she would get off work and go to the new house to finish the jobs that others did not. No matter what task had to be accomplished my mother would just collect the research and do it herself. She’d always say, “You can’t rely on anyone except yourself.”

Finally, everything fell into place, and we moved into our new home. Everything my mother did was for us, to ultimately give her children a place to call home. However, through all of this I learned that no matter where we were staying, it was always home because my mom held us together. We came together, and together we became stronger. Beauty can rise from ashes as long as you never give up. I would have lost all hope a long time ago if it was not for my mother’s sheer determination to carry on. Her strength to take on any obstacle was such an inspiration; I can only dream that one day I’ll be half the woman my mother is. No matter what happened, she found a way: a valuable lesson to be learned. That’s what life is about, taking what God gives you and making the best of it. She’s taught me to never give up and I’ll never forget it. We all have the strength and power to accomplish anything, this I believe.