Strength Prevails

Strength Prevails

A motto is defined as a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution. Life affects us and makes a person have strong beliefs that they live by. Even though I’ve only been on this earth 16 years, I’ve experienced pain. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst enemy, but through pain you learn strength. Therefore, my life motto is your pain today will be your strength tomorrow.

                Last year was an extremely difficult time for me and my family. First in September my great grandmother passed away. Even though she was 97 years old, we were expecting her to live forever because people in my family tend to live past 100 years old. One day she called my Pap and told him she was ready to die. She proceeded to tell him she had prayed to God and told him she was ready. G-mama had even called her sister to apologize for a disagreement they had years earlier. Pap thought she had lost her mind. However, two days later we received a phone call G-mama had passed away in her sleep. We were in shock. It was my first time attending a funeral, and I was emotional. My mom was asked to sing “Amazing Grace.” I don’t know how she was able to get through that song. I couldn’t stop crying, so I would have been a wreck. Eventually, though, life went on and we were able to move on with our lives without constantly crying.

                Then tragedy hit our family again. Only two months after G-mama passed away we took a trip to Grand Cayman. We were enjoying our vacation jet-skiing when our friends started flagging us down. We headed back to shore. Once we got there, they said my mom’s phone had been blowing up with texts and phone calls. Mom grabbed her phone and saw her dad was trying to reach her. As Pap answered, I could tell something major was wrong. My mom was sobbing. I asked what was wrong and she said, “Grandaddy died.” Not even two months after my G-mama’s death, my family once again had to go through another funeral, and it was in Granddaddy’s will that my mom has to sing again. I swear she is so strong. Several people took turns telling funny stories about Grandaddy, so we were able to celebrate his life. Eventually, we started to feel like ourselves and life moved on. A few more months slowly went by, and our lives moved on.

Then something happened that would change our lives forever. My mom and I were at the hair salon when her phone rang. Suddenly, my mom began sobbing uncontrollably. I instantly knew something horrible had happened. Finally, my mom was able to speak.

“Sean is dead!” she blurted out.

I was in complete shock all I could say was, “which Sean?”

“My Sean!” she exclaimed.

I couldn’t believe my ears. We had moved to Georgia to live with Sean, my mom’s boyfriend of five years. Apparently, he had died of a heart attack at work. The next few weeks I watched my mom in complete agony, having to make decisions for his memorial. For months we had to help his son deal with his belongings. It was the worst, especially after having already going through so many deaths this year. We didn’t know how to handle it all.

                However, as time begin to heal so did the wounds. My mom did some research and found a grief counseling program through a local church here in Atlanta. The grief process is horrible but necessary when healing. Once the twelve-week program was over, my family was able to move on. I learned during this past year that even though we endured so much pain and loss, strength would come from it. It takes strength to survive that much death. Therefore, my life motto is your pain today will be your strength tomorrow. Tomorrow is today.