This I Believe

Heather - Biloxi, Mississippi
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

As I look back on my life at the early age of eighteen, I realize I have already been through so much. I did not have the “normal” childhood; then again, who has these days. I recall a great deal of pain and suffering, countless nights crying myself to sleep, and various personal tragedies. However, during these days of agony I also grew and matured. Realizing everything is never perfect, I got on with life each and every time it disappointed me. One day at a time.

Before I could even qualify as a toddler, my mother was incarcerated for the first time; the first of many. Luckily, my grandparents graciously took me in. Although, I love my mother her mistakes still haunt me. I was forced to live a life without a mother. I did not have the opportunity of experiencing the simple things in life. I never tried on makeup with my mom. There were no mornings snuggling in bed, or nights staying up watching movies. Instead there were visits to the prison talking on a phone on the other side of a thick piece of plastic. This is something I have to deal with one hour at a time.

At the age of ten, I experienced the most awful tragedy anyone can experience; the loss of a loved one. In my experience, it was my younger brother. He was my world. I lived for this little boy. Tres drowned in our own back yard. I was away for the weekend at my ingenious father’s house; who decided he would wait until after the Mardi Gras parade to inform me that my heart was lying on a cold hospital bed. Tres died two weeks later which I deal with one minute at a time.

Life varies. Everyone has a story to tell and no two are the same. No two people celebrate or grieve in the same way. In my life I had some hard times, but I also had some great ones. The hard times made me appreciate the good even more. They made me mature and grow into the woman I am today. I realized that sometimes people just have to take the bull by the horns, accept what they have been given, and make the best of it. I believe in living life.