This I Believe

Eden - Centerville, Tennessee
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood
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I believe in diligence. My mother taught me this lesson every day of my childhood and continues to teach me about diligence now.

My mother was a teenager when she became pregnant with me. Instead of choosing any of the other alternatives, she kept me and raised me. She withdrew from high school and completed her G.E.D. She began the full time job of being a mother. She married young and soon I had brothers. I remember her working at restaurants and convenient stores when we were young so our family had enough income to make ends meet. My mother wanted more for herself and more for her family though.

She started going to college when I was nine years old. She worked nights and attended classes during the day. Somehow she also managed to find the time to be available for us to make costumes for school plays and to go to band concerts. In addition, my grandmother was battling cancer and my mother went to doctor’s appointments and therapy with her. In spite of all of the demands on her time and emotions, my mother was always diligent about her college studies.

My grandmother lost her fight with cancer after five years of treatment, during my mother’s third year of college. The grief my mother felt was overwhelming, and yet she continued on with her pursuit of education. She maintained high grades and completed her student teaching. She graduated on a very sunny day, draped with the gold cords that decorate students with academic honors.

Today, my mother teaches an early childhood class for children with special needs. Her job is exceptionally challenging because her students are incredibly diverse. She continues to learn about new techniques and strategies for reaching these children. She never gives up; no matter how challenging the needs of the student are because she wants nothing but the best for each of her students. My mother is the most diligent person I know. She has shaped my life and the lives of those around her because of her pursuit of excellence.