March 13th, 2007 was the worst day of my life. After ten years of being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, my father passed away. As a twelve-year-old child, I was completely devastated. I felt like I had been shaken down to my core. Everything I had ever known was being taken away from me.
Immediately after my dad took his last breath, I ran down the stairs to the front yard and started banging my head and fist against a tall oak tree. I needed something to get my mind off the emotional pain I was feeling. Being so young, I didn’t understand how to cope with what I had just endured.
After returning back to school a week later, I noticed that my classmates and teachers began to treat me differently. I would raise my hand in class, and the teachers would blatantly ignore me. My group of friends turned their backs on me, explaining that I had changed too much. How could I have not changed? The most significant event that would ever occur in my lifetime happened to me at the ripe age of twelve.
Awakening To My True Purpose
It was in these dark moments where I realized my purpose. I began to seek counseling at a children’s grief center. It was a strengthening change of pace for me to be surrounded by children who had a similar story to mine. I was able to bond with kids my age who had also lost a parent. We were all a part of a special “club” as we called it, a club that no one would understand unless they had the dishonor of going through the pain of losing a parent.
Through seeking this specialized counseling, I was able to come to terms with the fact that this is what I was put on earth to do. I never wanted a single child to ever feel the way I felt after such a tremendous loss. I was meant to be a light for children suffering from the loss of a parent.
Lessons I've Learnt
Now that I’m 23, I am able to realize that my father’s untimely passing made me a better person all around. I value life in a much greater way than I think I would have, had he still been alive. I cherish every single moment that I am given, because I know tomorrow is not guaranteed. I love people more, because I know that their time might be up at any given moment.
Whenever I come to a minor bump in the road, I remember that I have suffered through much worse. I have been able to overcome the biggest hurdle in my life by coming into my own strength and using it to help others. I realized my true strength at such a young age, that I was able to refine it as I grew older.
Giving Back To The World
I am now studying to be an elementary and middle school teacher. I never want a single one of my students to ever feel as though their story does not matter. I will love my students fiercely, and protect them at all costs. If they’re going through something, I will go through every step of that with them. I want them to know that when they feel like they’re all alone, I am there for whatever they may need. I found my true passion, my love of life, and my passion to be a light for others all through losing one of the people who meant the most to me. I do this all in honor of my father.
Turning Pain Into Passion
Despite the circumstances, I stand as strong as ever, putting all of my effort into my passions. I have never once used what I have been through as an excuse to not be great. I run a beauty blog and received my makeup artistry license at the age of 19 so I could help make other people feel good about themselves.
I believe that my level of passion comes from my father. I love to accentuate the beauty in the faces of others, and often think of my father when I write about this beauty. I wonder if he’s looking down on me, proud of all of the passions I have in my life. I wonder what his reaction would be to me blogging and teaching others the art of makeup.
It’s not something that he would have necessarily understood, but I think he would have been intrigued by it all. We both shared a passion of writing and educating others, and I feel blessed to be able to share our common bond with the world.
Written By Mallory Belote
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