There were difficult times in my life where I was forced to become brave, which allowed me to do significant things with my life. Growing up in a toxic, difficult, and unsafe environment as an eight-year-old girl, I didn’t know if there was ever going to be a tomorrow for me. Living in Holland during WWII brought about many hardships, especially because I was forced to grow up and be strong for my siblings. After loosing my father to the war, fear was all I thought I would ever feel. Looking out for my siblings required my fear to transform into bravery, not just for myself but for my family. It was not until later in my life that I realized this situation had positively influenced the rest of my life. Becoming a strong, confident leader was one of the results of my struggle. In one particular incident, years later, I was on my way to a friend’s house when I saw flames stretching out the windows of a neighborhood house. There was almost no time from then until the moment I was entering the house, cloth over my mouth and nose. Through the thick smoke I was able to help the lady of the house pull her unconscious husband from the fire. In another situation where my bravery helped others was while I was passing by an alley, I came across a teenage boy being beaten on by two very strong gang members. Being the courageous leader I have become, I did not hesitate to let my instincts protect this boy, although my petite body. Growing up in the war shaped me to become very brave, which I was able to use to help others in distress.
Although these times were tough, I developed a caring heart, which lead me down a road as a life long caretaker. As a teenager I stayed home from school to watch over my siblings so my mother could provide for the family. While I felt that I was missing out on my friends and school, I grew to appreciate my responsibilities that came with raising my brothers and sisters. Everything from keeping them entertained, to feeding them as well as teaching them everything I had to offer -- which unfortunately was not much. As a teenager I was disappointed that I was the one at loss but was later able to be thankful for this opportunity because I in-turn used this trait I acquired as a career tool. At the age fifty-five, after I had raised a family of my own, I took a course that resulted in me receiving the tittle “Nurses Aide”. I now share my gift that I developed at a young age with the Long Term Care Facility in my community. Personally I have been able to share my gift of caregiving with my siblings, my children, my community as well as my husband. When my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, my instincts as a caregiver immediately kicked in. Being there to support and take care of those close to me makes me grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me as a child. This resulted in myself acquiring a caring, loving heart, which has made me the person I am today.
The events that occurred in my childhood were hard to overcome which made forgiveness difficult but I soon