Nobody ever said that life was supposed to be easy. We weren’t promised that there would never be any bumps in the road. We all face adversity at some point.
Just as I develop my physical muscles by lifting weights and running sprints, I developed my character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity. At 16, I have had to deal with my fair share of adversity.
Losing my father at the young age of 3 in a plane crash was devastating to both my mother and myself.Instead of letting tragedy destroy us, we bonded and fought through the horror to overcome our loss together.
There is no life without pain, without loss, but the greatest human quality is our ability to persevere, to walk through the fire and come out better, stronger than before. As author and speaker Vivian Green once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
We all strive to have a “normal” life. What we realized through our tragedy is that we are now living a “new normal” life. My mother and I learned to never give up and to do even minor tasks on our own.
Whether that was loading firewood before the big blizzard, fixing the leaky toilet, or chasing the rabbit out of our house, we learned together to do things that men might do in other families. I want to stress to others that are experiencing the storms of life, to find that “anchor” in their lives.
Whether that person is a parent, a sibling, a best friend, someone in their church, or a trusted teacher, that person can lend a hand or just be a good listener in tough times.
It was a difficult time for us, but we never let our tragedy get in the way of living. It wasn’t easy, but living each day to its fullest is a personal choice that one must make everyday. To those survivors like me, I want to be able to share the message to not regret the past, for without the past, there is no future.
I’ve always been a very positive and forgiving person, and I know the importance of having a positive mental attitude. It is not to ask “Why me?”, but to ask, “What is the next step for myself and my family?”
Whether your family is experiencing a tragedy or a major life changing event, talking about it together, with a school counselor, or an “anchor” in your life can be the first step in healing.
I’ve learned that you never “get over your tragedy”, but you learn to live with it day to day! When you come to a bump in the road of your life, know that there is always a way through so long as you take action to love, persevere and stay strong.
Lackey is Miss Hunt County’s Outstanding Teen 2013.