Girlfriend Tara W. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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How would you describe strength? Is it the pain you feel as you try to squat to your max? Or is it how you react when faced with death, destruction, or good-byes? Would you have the strength to stand tall knowing everything you care about could be gone in the blink of an eye? This is the kind of strength we all want but few attain.

Just one person I know has this kind of strength. She has felt pain time and time again but stayed strong when most of us would have crumbled under the weight of emotion. She has the heart of a lion but is as gentle as a lamb. If you met her on the street you would never know this seemingly ordinary girl has been through so much.

She felt the pain of getting the call that no 15-year-old should ­receive – two of her best friends had been in a serious accident and one didn’t survive. As she watched her friend lowered into his final resting spot, the tears came, but she would not fall. She is strong.

When a tornado ripped through her small rural town, a place where she had felt so safe, it damaged more than just the walls of her school and childhood home; it tore at her heart. More than just buildings, these were the storybooks of her young life. As she watched so many memories – her first Christmas, first day of kindergarten, meeting lifelong friends – destroyed in seconds, the tears came, but she would not fall. She is strong.

War weighs heavy on all of our hearts, but so much more for those with loved ones in the service. Her step-dad left at the beginning of her senior year to put his life on the line for our country. He may not be her dad, but he loves her as if he were, always pushing her to be the best she can be. He won’t be there to watch her walk across the stage at graduation or to coach her summer softball team, helping to mold her into the best athlete she can be. He won’t be there to move her into college. Without a father figure to guide and protect her, the tears came, but she would not fall. She is strong.

Sports are her life, but even that would change. A week before basketball season began, a friendly game of powder-puff football turned to disaster. She made a move for the end zone and her knee gave out. Could this be the end of sports for her? A million thoughts rushed through her head. She had planned to play softball in college. Would they still want her? At the doctor’s office she got the news: a torn ACL requiring six to nine months’ recovery. A tear slowly rolled down her face – no basketball, no softball. She felt like her whole senior year was falling apart.

Her struggles have been constant, always there like a bad dream she can’t wake up from. But she will survive and be even stronger because of them. All the death, destruction, and good-byes in the world couldn’t keep her down. She is the true definition of strength. The tears will come, but she will not fall. She is strong.

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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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

skmartin said...
Oct. 3, 2009 at 1:49 pm
My son wrote this about his high school girlfriend. She is going to college now playing softball and her step-dad is now home safe to watch her play. Very happy ending.
 
windblossom said...
Oct. 3, 2009 at 3:07 am
Its beautifully written! :)
 
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