When Life Doesn’t Give You Lemons

Carrie - Warsaw, Ohio
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My life was wonderful when I was six years old. My family had a huge house and a back yard that contained a one of a kind playground for my sister and me. Every day, we would set out on an adventure within our backyard, discovering something new and interesting with each journey. We didn’t even have to eat our vegetables at dinnertime or wake up early for breakfast. I was more than content in my world. Our lives were perfect as far as I was concerned.

Then, one day it was decided that my sister and I should live with our grandparents. Our mother loved us, this I am sure of. However, my father never really acknowledged my sister or me in any way and he was an expert in getting our mother to conform to his “wonderful” ideas. Together, my parents chose the path of addiction over their children. I admire my mother, however, for allowing her parents to raise my sister and me.

It wasn’t until my sister and I moved in with our grandparents that I discovered my prior life wasn’t, by definition, as perfect as I had thought. Suddenly, the huge house I had lived in with my parents didn’t seem so grand. It was big but broken down and unsuitable to reside in because of the black that was slowly encasing the fractured cream colored walls. After discovering a real playground, I realized that the backyard playground I use to have was actually an abandoned shed that kept a nearby cluster of worn tires company. The adventures my sister and I went on, perhaps, were less than safe in our old overgrown jungle of a backyard. I also discovered that I was not sneaky or sly in avoiding the dreaded vegetables that accompany most meals. I didn’t have to eat my vegetables because my parent’s inefficient income had no room for groceries. They allowed their children to sleep in past the hours of breakfast time to avoid an explanation of nothing to eat.

Life didn’t give me lemons when I was young, so I couldn’t make lemonade. What life gave me was something; a something that I was able to create out of little. Perhaps, I was too young to know that my life was, by definition, inadequate or maybe it was due to the fact that I had nothing to compare my life to. Either way, when I was six years old I had no doubt that my life was beautiful. Even now, when I look back and realize that what I had wasn’t much, I know that I allowed it to be great. I believe that everything is what it is made to be. I believe there is no such thing as a concrete path or placement. I believe that sheds and old tires are as beautiful as a playground, but only if they are made to be so.