I believe in a second chance

Susannah - Austin, Texas
Entered on March 3, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that people should have a second chance. This may seem like a basic argument, but I didn’t realize how hard it would to give someone a second chance until it happened to me.

At my eighth grade graduation, my mom felt that she should invite my entire family, so there would be no hurt feelings. She invited my aunt who I didn’t really have a relationship with, but I had heard rumors about being a little eccentric. We had met before, and talked but she always seemed a little too over the top. I remember her swearing at family dinners while everyone covered their children’s ears.

It was picture time, after my eighth grade class had walked across the stage and received their “diploma”. I really wanted a picture with my entire class to remember the days I was about to leave behind. My aunt walked over and told one of my friends, “Hey, midget get out of the picture”. I couldn’t believe it. Later my friend came up to me and asked, “Is that your aunt”? “No”, I said. I left that graduation angry and I told my mom “I never want that crazy woman any where near me”. I don’t think I have ever felt that angry with a family member before.

It wasn’t until two years later that this ever came up again. I was sitting in my mom’s car on the way home, and my mom answers her phone, it was my grandmother telling my mom that my aunt had checked into rehab, for alcohol and drug abuse. Then I realized the reason behind her yelling at my friend in eighth grade, she was drunk. I still didn’t want to forgive her.

A few years later, it was Christmas and she had been released from rehab, to spend it with her family. She came to dinner that night, and I felt that for the first time, I actually saw her. I had seen her in the past, but this time was different, I saw her without a façade on, and at that moment I realized, she deserved a second chance.

I believe that even if someone makes an awful decision, they still have the opportunity to make the right choice. Even the worst people deserve that second chance in which they have the opportunity to make that choice and make a better life for themselves. They don’t have the ability to get rid of their past, but the have a new day to start, and create a new ending.

My aunt made that awful decision, but also made that choice to get help. And it wasn’t until recently I made the choice to give her a second chance.