Don't Give Up Hope This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I can remember lying in my mom's waterbed crying myselfto sleep. It was my nightly ritual, waiting for my mom to come home from wherevershe was. When I was very little she was always there, waiting for me afterschool, tucking me in at night. Then my parents began to fight and my mom becamedistant, as though she didn't care about me anymore. She was never home, eventhough she didn't work. She never said where she was or what she was doing. Whenshe was home, she locked herself in her bedroom. I didn't understand, and wantedher back. I thought she didn't love me and my brothers anymore.

I triedeverything to get her to spend time with us. I cooked dinner for the family, madeher little cards, invited her to play board games. Nothing worked. I wanted herto be like she was when I was little, but I didn't know how to regain her love.She was lost, and I was lost without her. I surrounded myself with friends andactivities to try and forget about my family problems.

My parents'fighting became more intense. It got to the point where the only time I saw mymom was when she was fighting with my dad. I could see my family and motherfalling apart, and I could not stop it.

One rainy afternoon I heard mymom pull into our driveway. I watched as she sat in our mini-van and cried.Suddenly she jumped out and began walking down the road. I pulled on my shoes andran after her. When I caught up, I threw my arms around her and we just stoodthere crying. After that things began to improve. My dad moved out and thefighting stopped. I could see Mom's old self resurfacing.

My mom has madea fresh start and is making up for the times she wasn't around. I know now thatmy mother was severely depressed. Now that I have her back, I never want to lether go. My mother will always be what matters to me most. I almost lost her, andI never want to experience that feeling again. I see my friends taking advantageof their moms and only hope that one day they will realize how special a motheris in a girl's life. I am one of the fortunate teens who has realized that. Mymom will always be the most important person in my life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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