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I used to get mad at myself for being so ungrateful with my life. Grandma always says, “never forget where your health comes from” and “thank God for everything He’s brought you through”, and the response that used to come to my mind was “I didn’t ask to be here” or “I didn’t ask for this life”. Of course, I didn’t say this grandma, though.

When I was in Germany with my parents, I didn’t think much of them living separately. I understood they had different job titles, which I thought required them to be in different places, cool, no big deal. I didn’t realize my parents weren’t together until I was six years old – my dad told me I was gonna be a big sister. I knew mom was in Colorado NOT pregnant and dad was in Georgia, so obviously they weren’t together. I was excited about having a sister since I was an only child, but I was also torn. I was torn because I loved living with my grandparents, but if I was living with my dad, I would be in a two-parent household with other kids around my age. Well, I spent summer 2000 with my parents; the first half in Valdosta and the second half in Colorado Springs. I loved being with my dad and step-mom, I loved being with my brothers and sisters, and I loved being in a home where I could call on “mom” and “dad” and they would answer me. When I arrived in Colorado Springs, I was introduced to mom’s fiance’ and his daughter. Once again, I loved it. A two-parent household with two girls. I was excited about sharing a room with my “big sister”. I thought to myself “dang, why can’t I live with my mom or my dad, this is more fun than being with my grandparents”.

So young, naïve, ungrateful, and foolish. Or, maybe I was just searching for answers.

Mom was stationed in South Korea from my 2nd grade year to my 6th grade year of school. Mom and I emailed each other daily, and she would call us regularly. Dad married my step-mom and was thriving with his family in Valdosta. I was sad, jealous, mad, and disappointed that my father was being a father to other kids and not me. I thought to myself “mom is literally across the world, and I talk to her more than I talk to my father who is 12 hours away from me”. I recall talking to my dad once or twice a month when I was younger. Dad came to my 5th grade promotion and took me back to Valdosta to spend the summer with him. I lasted two-weeks before I was calling everyone on my mom’s side of the family asking them to come get me. I just didn’t wanna be there. I had become so accustomed to having my grandparents all to myself, that I expected to have my dad all to myself, too. I was too caught up in my own wants and needs that I didn’t consider my dad’s or my siblings’ or my stepmom’s feelings. I didn’t understand my father was the caretaker of the family and that he had to work to pay the bills – he couldn’t just take off work because I was there. I didn’t understand my siblings loved my father as much as I did, and that he had a relationship with them just like he had a relationship with me. I left Valdosta. Dad didn’t call me for 6 months. I was FURIOUS! I was HEARTBROKEN! I was CONFUSED. I was NUMB. What I didn't think about at the time, though, was that my dad was probably feeling the same way.

Eventually dad and I made up, but I was still feeling some type of way towards him. Mom was back in the states and getting acclimated back into civilian life. Over time, I finally accepted my life as it is – my parents aren’t together and I’m not living with either of them, yet I’m still loved, SPOILED, and cared for by my grandparents, mom, dad, and other family members.

I was always hoping my parents would get back together, but one day I realized that was out of the question. When I was a teenager, I told both of my parents “ya know, I’m the best thing that came from yall’s short-lived relationship, I think the purpose of yall being together was to make me”. They both laughed and agreed. Shortly after that conversation, I decided to take down the picture of my parents on their wedding day from my bedroom wall.

So, when I captured this bee that was so consumed by all the pollen he was exposed to, it taught me to be appreciative of the “here & now” because that’s what’s important. I can't change what happened and I can't control what's going to happen.

Life Lesson:

· Just bee happy.

How I Apply it to My Life:

· I only focus on what I can change or control. Stressing about anything else will only harm me in the long run.


· Kaleb Simmonds – Don’t Worry, Be Happy Beatbox

SLIDESHOW: Dad, me, & mom at my high school graduation cookout. Me in 9th grade (with my parent's wedding day picture & my basketball participation certificate (lol) on my wall. Mom, Dad, Gma Margie (dad's mom), & me when I was younger.


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