My life was doomed from the beginning. My parents dropped out of school 2 weeks before they graduated ran off and started having kids. It just so happened I was the second. Right then was where my life would become hard. I am one of three girls. At a young age, it became clear to me my sisters and I did not have a part in my parent’s social life. Partying and gaming were their everything. My older sister who is two years older than me stepped in and became my mother figure. We tried to stay positive through every challenging day. My grandparents began to take us in and try to comfort us and tell us even though our parents showed no love they did. My grandmother quit her job and began caring for us. At points, it was difficult because we were going from hate and abuse to a house that was full of love. We never wanted to leave their house. I started noticing that my dad was staying gone more and more and found out he was with other girls having kids. At such a young age I was confused and tried to protect myself from having emotional breakdowns. The only thing that kept me sane during these trying times was my love for God. When I was with my grandparents they would take me and my sisters to church. There we formed connections with other children who loved God. At that point in my life, I knew all I had to hold on to was a promise God gave me: I would make it. My mom and dad officially separated when I was 5. We went through several court cases and frankly, neither of my parents was fit to have us, children. My mom ended up with custody of us and we had visitation on the weekends with my dad. In the middle of all of this, my uncle became a dad. She started to go through the same things I had. My grandparents stepped in once again. They ended up with full custody of her. Anyway, on the weekends with my dad, he was violent and we were always scared of what would happen to us. He put me at gunpoint wrecked our car purposefully to kill my sisters and I. This is when I realized that I had to be strong. I knew there had to be more to life than this kind of treatment. I loved my dad’s grandparents. They were just complete sweethearts and tried their best to step in between my dad and us girls at the most trying time. I’ll never forget this one special moment. They lived on a farm and I always loved to go out in the big fields with him while he drove the tractor. This one specific time I was on visitation and I snuck out with him on the tractor. We were out in the field heading towards the barn.. Suddenly, he stopped. I said, “GG, what are you doing”? He then took my hand and looked into my bright blue eyes.. He said” sweetheart, your life has been hard from the day you were born.. It won’t get easy.. but one thing is for sure, you’re a fighter. Stay strong. One day you will have a life that you deserve, and someone that you deserve that will treat you better than your dad has.. and he said look at how tall that cilo of the barn is. You’re going to have obstacles that look that big in your life, but if you keep the strength and courage you’ve had till this point you will make it.” I was confused. The last words he said to me were” I won’t get to see you grow up, but promise me one thing: you will be better than your dad”.
That was the last day I saw him. That was 14 years ago. After this point in my life, my sisters and I heard my grandparents were moving. We each secretly packed one suitcase apiece and decided if they went, we were going to go. We let our parents know right then we no longer wanted to be a part of their lifestyle.. We all moved to a small town about 6 hours away from them. I was 6 years old.. We started school made new friends went to church every week. To me, the church is where I drew my strength from. I was grateful that I was given the opportunity to move with my grandparents and not be put in a foster home, so it meant everything to me. the first four years went great. Sometimes I had to fight through moments of regret. I tried to envision my grandparents as my parents so many times. But it was like the feeling that everyone in my class had a set of parents and grandparents who would not leave me. I wanted to experience my dad teaching me how to play softball and basketball, and learn from my mom good hygiene.. I wanted to go to my grandparents and get spoiled on the weekends. I realized, not all dreams come true.. I dove into sports and learned how to play pretty much all of them.. I learned how to play the piano. When everything seemed like it was going good a day came that changed my life. My mom had not called or talked to my family in three years. She never tried to financially support my grandparents. We received a call from her stating she was ready to change her life and move in with us.. We gave her the benefit of the doubt let her come. Helped her finish her GED and go on to college. One day I got home from school and realized she was packing. All my hopes faded away right then. She looked at me and said she could not live that life. I was heartbroken that day. I knew I had to try one last time. I got a sheet of paper and brainstormed an idea. I wrote just a simple note that said” Mom, please come back. I want to grow up with a mother. If you don’t come back for me please come back for my sisters. I want to be a family again”. I slid it in my bookbag and put my book bag in her car right before she left. My thinking was it has all my school books in it. Maybe she will realize she has to come back. She has no choice. Well, again I got my hopes high.. She never came back. One day I was having a great day at school. The principal came in and told me politely to put on my coat and don’t ask any questions. When I got to the front entrance I was shocked to see my lawyer, my grandparents, and my uncle standing there. My grandparents told me to get in the car along with my sisters and we rushed to the law office. Once getting there I was informed that my mother had come into town to take us from my grandparents. We stayed at the law office all day fighting against my mother and begging her to let us stay. We knew being with my grandparents was where our happiness was. Finally, after 8 hours of begging, she gave in and left; only to return 6 months later to our house with the police. It was a calm peaceful day and we got a knock on the door. When my grandfather answered it there stood my mother and three deputies. They had come to serve us a court order to take the three of us away. Again we fought and stood our ground until the police decided they could not mess with us. They told my mother to go back to where she came from and get her judge to summons us. Thankfully, that never happened. For 8 years we never heard anything from her. My sisters and I grew and became numb to not having our parents around. We were glad to have peace in our life. Three years ago my oldest sister graduated from high school. She invited my mother to come to her graduation. My sister became pulled to my mother’s lifestyle and decided she wanted to go back with her.. I watched as my sister chose the same life we tried to escape as a child. Heartbroken, I began to ask myself “will my life ever get better”? I finally got over her not being around. The following year it was my turn to graduate. God had given me so much grace and I was honored to graduate at the age of 16. My mother and sister begged me to come to my graduation and I knew it was a tough decision. After a lot of time thinking, I told them I did not want them to be a part of my life. I had finally healed. At this point, they decided to join forces and come against me in every way they could.. It was all I could do to stand my ground.. But I did. It was the best decision I had ever made. I graduated with an Associates in arts. And in business. I give all the credit to God for making me so strong. After watching my sister and mom make the wrong decisions, I knew it was up to me to change the direction that I and my younger sister would take. I wanted to change. I wanted to see our amount to something. Something important. After graduating I decided I wanted to help other children like myself who started out on the wrong foot. I wanted to help show them they could make it just like myself. That’s where the love for law school came. I started studying to be a paralegal. In the middle of all of this, I still had no contact with my mom or sister. One night I received an anonymous phone call. I decided to answer it. On the other end was my older sister. She began to tell me that she had fallen in love with a Brazillian and that she had moved there. This was in the middle of the Global Pandemic. She was not allowed to leave the country when she received a phone call that my mom had been found nearly dead and had been rushed to the hospital and put on a ventilator. She had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Her liver was only functioning 2%. I had not seen my mother in so long all I remembered was a lady who was over 200 pounds that walked around with no life. I called the lady who took my mother to the hospital and was told that she was not coherent and was sent a picture. I about fainted when I got the picture. Here my mom was only 38 and looked like a vegetable. I was not even 18 yet and did not know what to do. All I did was know what to turn to God and tell Him all my problems. I instantly became support for my 15-year sister and tried my best to comfort my grandparents. My grandparents decided to go down and be with my mom. I knew I would not be able to take the pressure or even be able to see my mother like that. For 2 weeks they fought day and night for my mother. They called my family in and told us that she was not going to make it. I turned to God once again. Even though my mother never played a part in my life, I suddenly realized that the one hope I had of seeing her get her life right was gone. The night they pulled the ventilator my mother woke up. The first thing she said was ” I’m so sorry.” my grandmother face timed me and told me. I cried so many tears of joy. I knew that my mom had finally realized. She asked to talk to me and my sister. We spent hours singing to her and praying with her even though we knew she would not make it. At the end of my grandparent’s visit with her, they had found a liver donor. My grandparents came home and we had frequent calls with her. the last phone call I had with her, she could barely talk, but she said; “honey, I made a lot of wrong decisions in my lifetime but the best decision I ever made was leaving you with your grandparents and giving you all up to a better life. I hate that I was not there to see you grow up and tell you how much I loved you, and I hate I won’t get to see you get married or have kids, but promise you will do better than me”. I knew this was her way of apologizing for my childhood.. It was the happiest day of my life. I knew I could close that chapter to the book. It went on for another month I did not talk to her. She beat all odds and was supposed to have her liver transplant. After a little while, we realized no one had heard from her. We could not get up with the friends she decided to stay with, no one knew where or how she was doing. My nanny called every hospital in our state and no one had a record of my mother. We received a phone call late that night that my mother had passed away two days prior. She died this year at age 39 exactly a month to my 18th birthday. I decided to dig deeper because I felt there was foul play. The doctors had assured me that my mother was good enough to get a transplant and that my mother’s surgery was supposed to take place the week she died. I was not able to get any information, but I knew there was more to the story the what her friends would tell me. After praying for several weeks to get a clearer picture of how and why my mother died, I received a phone call from a lady my mother never talked about and that I had never heard about. She began to tell me everything I had felt happened. In the end, we found out my mother was killed by a lady who my mother thought was her best friend. She had killed her the day before her surgery. So many emotions and feelings wanted to hit me. However, I went back to what my GG told me as a child. I knew I had to be strong for him, for my sisters, and for my family. I knew God had taken care of me my entire life, and He would continue to. This is my lifes story up until now. I’m still pursuing my college dream and being strong. I want to encourage those who read this to never stop fighting. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You might experience the most challenging times in your life. When you don’t know what to do, go to God, and He will anchor your soul. Don’t let the wrong decisions that other people make the shape and form your future. Stand out. Be different.