My Family is My Inspiration

My Family is My Inspiration by Tatum L.

I have had a lot of inspiration in my life. Mostly because of JAG, swimming on my school’s varsity swim team, and my family. They have helped me open up and do things I never thought imaginable. Family I think is the most inspirational thing that I have in my life. My family has given me a background that most people don’t have. People would never expect me to have by looking at me and how well I do in school or the few people that just know me and not my family.

I have grown up visiting my dad, my brother, and other family members in prison or jail. My dad is an alcoholic. I remember when I was little trying to wake him up or trying to take care of him on the weekends when I was there. I didn’t really understand what was going on when I was little. That was just normal to me. I didn’t know until I got a little older that I’m not supposed to be the caretaker. I’m the one who is supposed to be taken care of. My brother isn’t my full blood brother and is quite a bit older than me and has done a lot of stupid things in his life but I wouldn’t love him any less. He is currently serving an 8 year sentence in Perry, Florida. I have not seen him in 6 years. We talk and write but its not the same. My sister, also not full blood, is a drug addict with two kids. She has done so much to get through this but that past will always haunt her and my family. Her oldest is 7 years old. His first few years of life, he didn’t know his mom or where she was. She would show up for a few days, maybe weeks if we were lucky, then disappear again. She had her youngest the day after she was a year clean. She is now 8 and a half months old and the biggest blessing my sister could’ve gotten. But everything that rises, falls. At 13 and half months clean, my sister overdosed and was thrown back in jail. This was a hard thing for us but we got through it. My sister hated herself and still doesn’t know why she did it. She still continues to fight hard for her kids, even when behind bars. I still couldn’t be more proud of the things she conjured. She has now finally decided to get her life together and help kids before they go down the same road she did. I remember when I was younger, and not to long ago, waking up in the middle of night or even walking into the kitchen in the middle of the day, with my mom crying because she was waiting for a call no mother should have to get. Thankfully we never got that call. My mom was always more happy to hear that my sister was behind bars and not behind a dumpster. My mom has fought for every thing she has and for what I have. We have gone though some of the hardest times most families don’t or shouldn’t have to go through but it has made me and my mom a lot stronger than most people think or could even imagine we are. Most people have role models, people they want to be like. I have anti-role models, people I don’t want to be like. These people have helped shape who I am today and what I want to become in the future.

So, I would have to say that my biggest inspiration would have to be my family but most definitely my sister. I have seen what drugs can do to people and their family. I have seen and heard many stories about people dying. I have seen my own sister dead on the kitchen floor while medics try to relive her. After all of that, she manages to become the strongest person I know. Never willing to give up in what she wants or believes in. We have separated over the years but I hope that we will become close again once she comes home and is happy with her two kids again.

Another inspiration in my life would have to be my mom. Not only has she had to raise three kids, she did most of it one her own. My siblings and I are pretty far in age but it’s still hard no matter if you’ve done it once before and a 100 times before. It’s not easy starting over. I am 18 years old and I was the last kid my mom thought she’d have to raise but through life things happen. She is now raising my sisters baby. Literally starting from scratch. She has done an amazing job raising her and I can’t wait to see what she becomes. My mom has never had anything handed to her she has worked hard to get what we have and where she is in live. She never fails to stop trying and working hard.

I want to pave our family a different path then what my brother, sister, and dad have dug. I still have a lot of work to do but it just takes one thing at a time. I have made sure to surround myself with people that help me get to where I want to be. I have done things most people in my place wouldn’t do. Some kids go down that path because that’s what they grew up with but I don’t want to. Some other things I have done are become the best swimmer I could be, I have joined the New Castle Vocational program for welding, and always volunteered for things I could. When ever anyone needed me, I was there and many people know it. In the fall, I will be going to Jacksonville University for business and engineering trying to start that next chapter of my life. I am very excited to start paving the new road my cousins, niece, nephew, and kids who might have grown up with a life like mine and can follow and be proud to say they did it and made their own family a new path.

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