This I Believe

Kayla - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, hope

Having grown up in a family headed by women, I’ve learned to believe in the power of a woman. The women in my family are among the bravest females I have ever known. More importantly, I believe in the power of a mother, especially a single mother. I’m not here to write an essay about the typical, “we shall overcome” mother; the hardships she’s had to deal with are the result of plain old simple everyday life. The strength of her spirit amazes me every day. She has learned from everything that has happened to her, and her knowledge and her intuition has helped her become the best mother that she can possibly be. My mother has been a single parent since I was only a few months old; my father died, and I was the closest thing she had to remember him by. She raised me with all the care and compassion that she possessed, and I felt it every day. So many obstacles have sprung up in my life, and in hers. She has maintained an optimistic attitude throughout everything, keeping a smile on her face just so I can keep a smile on mine.

My grandmother is another example of a woman who I admire for her unwavering stability. She has played a huge part in my upbringing; I’ve lived with her (and my mother) more often than not, and she’s always there when I need her, when I can’t talk to my mother. She knows what it’s like to be a single mother, and she has risen to the occasion, raising four children despite how hard it was. It’s almost impossible for me to describe this and do them justice; it’s like a feeling so big, it’s engulfing me, but I can’t convey it in a way that would even begin to be right. My mom, because she is still young, has more energy to bounce back. My grandmother on the other hand, though relatively young (57), shows her hardships in her face. You can look at her, look in her eyes past her goofy exterior, and see that she’s witnessed things that can change a person. And it has changed her. But not beyond the point of no return; she’s just cautious, ready for whatever might come. The women in my family are so resilient, and they have been tested beyond measure, but they can still find something to smile about every day. That shows true strength to me, and that is what I believe in, just being able to smile.