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A place to call home

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As far back as I can remember I have had a pretty interesting life. Things have
come and gone and the wind has blown in unpredictable directions. I can say that my life
has often transformed through intense, painful and life-changing events. After living on a
military base and moving to numerous places, it became difficult to identify a place that I
could really call home.

As I got older, I enrolled in at least eight schools and lived in thirteen locations
including Central America, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington State. Every year
came with sadness as I would have to leave new friends that I had just made. The only
remnants of those newly made friends became memories. The kids at school would often
exclude me from events that would go on either during recess or class.

One chilly summer night, my dad woke up my two sisters and I and said, “Come
on girls, get your stuff. We have to go.” Fighting the sleep monster, my sisters and I
stuffed some clothes and what belongings we could carry in a garbage bag and drove off.
I made sure to grab my Big Bird stuffed animal because whenever I was scared, or if I
needed something to comfort me, I would feel the need to take him with me. I always
held him by his neck to the point his head was about to come off. While driving, I had
noticed that my father started getting tears in his eyes. We soon found ourselves pulling
into the parking lot of a Super 8 motel.

Once inside the motel room, my dad sat down and started to cry. All three of us
put our arms around dad, hugging him and trying to give him comfort. I started laughing
like the young, immature kid I was because I thought it was funny seeing my father shed
tears. I wasn’t used to seeing boys or men cry at such a young age. My younger sister
then told me that we could no longer stay at our house. At that moment, I felt like I was
the worst child a parent could have for laughing at something so serious. We ended up
having to move to another home yet again.

I am still very emotional when it comes to the thought of all the events that
happened in my life. I recognized that in order to keep from breaking down, I had to stay
emotionally strong. These experiences have taught me to never give up and to always
look at the positive outlook on life. Over the years, I have realized that a place to call
“home” isn’t about how long you’ve lived there, but simply the family that supports you
and friends that are made. With what felt like countless years of moving, weary nights
and being ostracized by my peers, our family eventually settled down, and I have at last,
after seventeen years, found a home.





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