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Overcoming All Odds

My mother, Kathleen, is the strongest, toughest, and smartest person I know. She has encountered hurdles of difficulties throughout her life, but she has never given up hope and did everything in her power to make it to the point where she is today.

When she was in high school, my mom was extremely involved. She was a social butterfly, had several friends, was well liked by teachers, was a member of many clubs and organizations, and was a cheerleader. She worked hard in school, but she was not top of the class. She had a powerful work ethic, but she was not as dedicated as she could have been. As all of her friends were accepted into their top choice colleges and universities, my mother had absolutely no idea what she was going to do. She applied late to one of the local colleges in her city, but she was deferred. Heartbroken, she applied to the local technical college where she worked diligently to earn a degree in nursing. She did all of this while holding a part-time job to pay for her full-time tuition, her housing, and anything else that she needed.

Each time I have felt discouraged by others, by myself, or because of the rigor of academics, she tells me stories from when she was my age and the difference between our situations. I cannot imagine going through all that she did while maintaining great grades and providing entirely for myself. She reminds me frequently of the hardest class she had to take, which was a statistics class in college. She told me that she studied for that class hours every single day and how she had never worked as hard for anything in her life. She ended with a high grade in that class, which she was incredibly proud of.

When my mother graduated, she married my father, had three children, including myself, and worked night shifts in the nursery at the hospital, caring for premature babies. She cared for her own babies during the day and kept other anxious parents’ babies alive at night. As I grew up, she found another job working as the school nurse at my school. It was difficult to be in elementary and middle school knowing my mother was down the hallway, but it was reassuring, as well. She took that job because she wanted to provide me with the best possible education. 

My mother has experienced emotionally challenging times in her life from losing her mother, her father, and her sister, who was her best friend. I cannot imagine going each day without talking to my family members. Even though death is inevitable, my goal has always been to spend lots of time with my family and be close to them no matter what. My sister is my best friend in the whole world, and that is due to the influence my mother’s relationship with her sister had on us. They loved each other unconditionally, and I am proud to say that my little sister and I share a similar bond. I adore my little brother, and he makes me smile during rough patches in my life because of his optimism and innocent view on life. My parents are supportive of my decisions and have raised me to be the individual I am today. My mother, especially, calls herself my “biggest cheerleader” and pushes me to be the best I can be. The influence she has made on me stems from her own hardships of her life. She has taught me to learn from her mistakes. It is difficult to be away from my family while I am at school, but one phone call from my mom can make my entire week so much better. My family has made countless sacrifices for my education, and, for that, I am overwhelmingly blessed.