overcoming

‘My stepdad always told me I was bad luck. I never fit into his picture-perfect family. To avoid fights, I’d lose myself in a book or math problem. School was my safe-haven.’

“I didn’t care what school I went to as long as I could get away from home. I later dropped out of high school and started working the night shift at a restaurant. Weeks later, my school counselor called. ‘If I work something out with you, would you agree to come back?’ It was my second chance at life.”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

‘You catch this baby, or I will.’ My son’s father fainted. He woke up, saw our newborn, then left to smoke. He returned smelling of cheap beer and cigarettes.’

“‘I’m taking our son,’ he said. It was snowing and he was wasted. ‘He will not take my child like this.’ My grandmother walked in from church. ‘Take my son and lock yourself in your room!,’ I screamed. He got in his car and sped off, fish-tailing down the snow-covered road. Hours later, he returned.”

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