This is the story of an eighteen-year-old woman who is standing in front of the casket of her grandmother as well as her four-year-old daughter. Standing there she looks to her daughter and begins to share her story of her alcoholic and abusive mother that exited her life around the same age as her daughter. She shares her few memories of her mother that include her beating her, drinking and having screaming matches with her husband. It was a difficult life for a child, but her balance was found when she got to spend time with her grandmother. It is soon clear that her grandmother is the backbone of support that she desperately. After a series of events she ends up living with her grandmother at the age of four until she was fourteen. It was then that she got pregnant. She tried to hide it from her grandmother as to not disappoint her but after a few months she asked her why she’s sick all the time. Eventually her grandmother gets it out of her and she tells her that together they can get through anything. She keeps the baby, goes back to school and raises her daughter at her grandmother’s house. It is the death of her grandmother that brings the family back together. It is at the funeral that her mother finally comes back into her life, sitting on the front row and asking her if she can please meet her granddaughter. In the end she doesn’t know what is going to become of her and her mother, but she does know that she is going to continue to be an amazing mother, to make her grandmother proud.

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  • It’s incredible how fast life can pass you by. I almost have to laugh as I say that standing before you an 18-year-old mother of a four-year-old daughter. Hard to believe right? 10 seconds ago, you looked at me and thought I was just another teenage girl living just another teenage life, but I’m here to tell you that what you see is not always what you get. What you think you see is not always what your eyes allow you to see. And everything that you see is not always true, I clean up well don’t I? My grandmother taught me to laugh instead of crying, “Joy we have no time for weakness in this family.” Laughter has always been the best medicine even when the life that you live is anything but giggles, grins and fun. At 18 I can say that I’ve probably seen more life than any of my senior counterparts, shit I’d bet my life on it. And sometimes, as I look down into my daughter’s eyes and she looks into mine, and as I move from my daughters’ eyes to the forever closed eyelids of my grandmothers eyes, sleeping restfully in her casket I know that my life is anything but normal. It is sacred, it is a fight to take every breath the flows through my body, but it is truly mine.

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