This I Believe

GraceAnn - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on January 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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I believe that actions have consequences and that your actions affect those around you. I witnessed my ex-step-dad’s life change dramatically because he chose to take illegal drugs. As a result, the lives of my family and I would never be the same.

Several years prior to this event I never would have thought Tim was capable of becoming the man he is today. I looked up to him as if he were my father. He would help me with school projects, coach me as I learned to play basketball, and he would even say my prayers at night. I was not the only person who looked up to him, for all of my friends and our extended family thought very highly of him. However, this nice man that I thought I knew became my greatest enemy.

When I was eleven years old I began to see a change in Tim’s personality. One minute he was the same nice guy I had known since I was three years old, and the next minute he was yelling and cussing for no explained reason. Because of this I no longer looked up to him, for I was scared to death of doing something that would set him off. If I did make him mad he would ground me for months at a time without giving a reason. Slowly he started coming home really late without calling to explain where he was, and honestly I was relieved when he did not come home until after I was asleep. Also, I began to dread the weekend because I would have to be around him a lot. My mom knew that he had been taking drugs, but she kept this from me to protect me. She and I stuck together, and my mom became my best friend.

Finally, my mom decided it would be best if we moved in with my Grandparents. After we had been living there for about six months Tim did something that changed his life along with my family’s lives forever. He broke into my grandparent’s house on the morning of Thursday, November 11, 2004 with a knife and a loaded hunting riffle. He told my mother he had come there to kill her, and I feared for her life as well as mine. We were told to stay in our bedrooms while he kept my mother in another room. During this time, we could hear her pleading for him to stop hitting her. Finally, I was able to text my pastor and tell him we needed help. Through a series of events the police were notified. They came into my grandparent’s home, arrested him and took him to jail. Eventually, he had a trial and has been sentenced to life in prison. Looking back I realize that his choice to take illegal drugs lead to this event.

I believe that actions have consequences. Tim’s mistake showed me that one decision can alter your life forever.