Sunshine Overpowers Thunderstorms

Lisa - Brandon, Mississippi
Entered on March 25, 2010
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

As the sun crept through the clouds, I noticed the trees; the twinkle of the Christmas lights hanging from them was a sight I would never forget. It was Christmas Eve of 2002; I, a fourth grader at the time, dashed to my dad’s white pick-up truck while he and my mother followed behind. Excitement filled me as I realized I would be able to spend Christmas with my mom at home. Unaware of why she had been away for so long, I continued to sprint to the truck oblivious to the fact that my life was about to take an extremely unexpected turn.

At the time of this event, I was not aware that my mom had been hospitalized for over a year. Sure, she had not been at the bus stop to wave me goodbye as I departed for school everyday, but it never occurred to me that the reason she wasn’t there was because she was bedridden in a hospital. At the time, I suppose I was just a naïve fourth grader that couldn’t see what was staring her in the face. I realize now that Christmas of 2002 was a turning point in my life; I went from being a child to somewhat of an adult. I had responsibilities. No longer could I stay out riding my bike until the streetlights came on; I must help my parents. Responsibility! Responsibility! Responsibility! This one word began to engulf my life. I thought of it as a burden; it seemed to be a destroyer of my childhood. At the time, all I wished for was a ray or two of sunshine.

Looking back on this, I am able to notice a bit of significance in the situation. I now realize that, as cliché as it sounds, everything truly does happen for a reason. Without having to care for my mother and myself at an early age, I would not be the independent person I am today. The responsibilities I took on as a child helped to shape me into a young woman capable of caring for herself. Though I thought of this sickness my mom went through as a never-ending thunderstorm, I now see that it had the capability of being quite the opposite.

I believe in weather having the ability to change. I believe that a person decides how clear their sky is going to be each day; the downpour of rain can only last for so long. Though each hurricane, hailstorm, or blizzard may continue on for what seems to be eternity, the sun will shine again. I now see that being obligated to take on responsibility is not the natural disaster I once thought it was; it indirectly gave me the bit of sunshine I needed to brighten my future.