This I Believe

Macie - Mabelvale, Arkansas
Entered on March 20, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: love
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I believe in love and the unstoppable power it has to help me impact people’s lives in the smallest ways but with the greatest meaning.

Last year, at age twelve, I took part in a birthday party that will change a little girl’s life forever. How? It was all because of the power of love. My dad’s best childhood friend, Shawn Kirk, died last December in a severe motorcycle accident. At the time of the accident, his daughter, Hailey Kirk, was already in foster care and she absolutely hated living there. My family had known her since the instant she was born and she grew up looking at us as her own family. She was nine years old with no family to rely on or talk to. Hailey and I were only two years apart and since she had some mental issues, she especially looked up to me like a big sister.

Two months after the tragic death of her daddy, she finally reached the two digit numbers; she turned ten years old. Since it was her very own special day, she was visiting my family for the weekend. We were alone in my bedroom sitting on the edge of my bed and just talking about how things were going. She was telling me how much she missed her mommy and all her feelings regarding the death of her daddy. She could not even begin to understand how a simple motorcycle destroyed the close-knit relationship between her and her daddy. After a short pause, she looked up to me with huge, teary, blue eyes and sadly said, “I guess I cannot have a birthday party because my mommy is not here and my daddy just died.” Later that evening, I talked to my mom about Hailey mentioning the thought of a birthday party. After Hailey fell asleep, we talked it over and decided that we should throw her a birthday party the next day. We asked her if she wanted to

invite any friends, but she said that she just wanted it to be us. She loved the cake, presents, and especially just being able to talk and spend time with us. She had to go back to foster care the next day but of course she wasn’t ready to go. I do not know how many times I heard her famous line that day “just five more minutes, please, please, please.” On the way back to Russellville, Arkansas, we heard her constant sighs and sad voice. She loved it all, though.

I know, one small birthday party with only five people and no friends sounds lame and boring, but honestly, it impacted Hailey’s life in major ways. During the birthday party, she realized that just because she had recently lost her daddy and she never got to see her mommy, there were still people in the world that loved her. She will always remember the weekend dedicated to her and filled with lots of love and laughter.

Mother Teresa said, “Love is doing small things with great love.” If everyone stopped to think about this quote, we would realize that we have to adjust our lives to the needs of others in order to impact them by great measures. Impacting lives begins with the unstoppable power of love.