When I think about the many ups and downs I’ve encountered in my life, I think about how one thing saved my life: writing. I think back to 2009 when I lost my sister, Quetta, to cancer. I was 19 years old … she was 21. My sister was one of the most amazing people I ever met, and I was utterly devastated when she was diagnosed at the age of 20. I could not fathom how, in a year, I watched her life slowly wither away, and with so much craziness in the world, God saw it fit to call her Home.
There I was, weeks before my sophomore year of college wondering how I could pick up the pieces of my sister’s memory and carry them to school where I was hours away from my family. I felt as if I needed to be home, because without them I didn’t necessarily feel whole. Describing the feeling, again, almost brings tears to my eyes as I sit here and type these words, but it’s a story I must share.
College was quite possibly one of the best experiences for me, I went to an all women’s school, where sisterhood was the foundation: Mary Baldwin College. The only problem, however, is that after losing my sister, how could I have gone back to a school that encompassed sisterhood, when my family was at home dealing with the loss of one of our own? Yes, my friends and family were more than supportive, but part of me still couldn’t focus, and I knew it was because I could not deal with the sadness I was feeling over the loss of my sister.
So, writing became a life saver for me, literally. It was as if I was able to take all of my thoughts and leave them in a sacred journal I knew nobody would read, and my secrets would be safe. The pain I felt came alive on the pages, and even when I wrote, I cried … not because I was sad, but because the first time in forever, I felt free. Sure, I had written before, but becoming more open and honest with myself allowed me to heal. I was able to grieve … to feel as if I could breathe again. So, fast forward to today, and I thank God for giving me the gift of writing. I thank God for helping me overcome every obstacle, and allowing me to share my story with the world, because writing saved my life.
I encourage those around me to find their sprinkle of joy, to seek happiness among the sorrow that may come into your life. There is nothing more beautiful than finding passion in your life; all too often we ignore grief and bury our emotions, rather than taking the time to find a way to overcome and express ourselves. My wish is that all of those around me use their God given talents and show their beauty with the world.