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My father died when I was seven, too young to really understand what an impact that would be for me. When you’re seven you don’t think “who is going to baptize me?” or “who will give me away at my wedding?” No, that comes later.

We didn’t eat for weeks. And neighbours brought oodles of food to us. All most all of it went bad. But little miracles helped us though the really tough parts. Once we came home and the house smelled of him. We just came in and sat down; we fell asleep huddled like puppies on the living room couch. And a few others that are a little too personal to share (even anonymously).

Flash forward three months.

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My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He lived for four months. And at the tender age of eight, I had to find myself. I know women now that are much older that I, that have no idea who they are. But when you are confronted with challenge after challenge, it becomes necessary.

Now flash another two years.

We moved in with my grandmother (who is diabetic) and my grandfather (who is disabled and in a wheelchair). Between the two of them, we had to call an ambulance at least six times in the first year! It is scary to live with older people.

But through all of the challenges that I have had I know that they were meant for me. That I needed to learn from them. And that the people around me needed to learn something too.

I would even go as far as to say that I am lucky. I have an amazing family that loves me, and great religious leaders that guide me in the right direction and even better friends. I am lucky because I have found a testimony of god, time and time again. I am lucky because I can’t hold a grudge, my uncle still blames the doctor for my father’s death. But I am lucky because I know that there was nothing that he could have done and I know that God needed him more that I did.

I could go on and on about little things that happened to me, but I would rather focus on the good. I am thankful for my challenges, because they make me stronger.

Now, I am a healthy 15 year old that has her whole life in front of her. And I can’t wait to face it head on!

 

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