By: MoShai Gibbs
Everyone has turmoil and strife in their background. By this I mean there is always something that goes on in someone’s life that others do not know or have any knowledge of. I can tell you a story of a young girl who was always the happy go lucky girl. In her life, there was so much that went on but many never knew that tears behind the smile. Automatically, you may think that this story is about this young girl but keep reading.
Many people have visited and moved to Los Angeles, California and many people have yet to truly experience the authentic area of Los Angeles. A native and product of South Central, Los Angeles this young girl had many challenges to overcome. In this lovely area of South Central L.A., there was high poverty, high crime and not much opportunity. As if that was not enough, she faced the realization of a drug addicted mother and an incarcerated father. How does a smile make it through all of that?
There have been many times when I look back at that era in my life and see the depression that imploded within me and how I was betrayed by my thoughts because they went from happy to sad and stayed for years. Many can say I was orphaned and other can say you were lucky, but I call it blessed. There is so much in a world of danger that one can take as circumstance and live in it forever or take as a chance to turn it to gold. There were days that life seemed so sad.
One day I can remember my mother holding my hand during the darkest hour of the day. Taking a walk with your mom should be such a wonderful memory, but I can remember this being one that is filled with cold winds blowing against my face and a fast-paced walk to hurry and get to the house where she could get what she needed to sustain through the night. However, what I needed was not top priority and obviously for an eight-year-old young girl to be out on the crime ridden streets of South Central after midnight was not a good idea.
Many months passed before I was technically rescued from this life and taken in by family. At this point I was an overweight preteen with depression and confusion on why I was given this life. It’s hard to comprehend how a mother and a father could not truly appreciate the gifts God has given them, but I did not judge them as my love for my parents was still stronger than ever; however, my love for myself and life was not as it once was. That once effortless smile turned into an unwanted state of despair that was often made more prominent with tears. My extended family did everything they could, but one person took the extra time to help save me and the happy little girl within.
Sometimes there are individuals in the world that God bringS into your life to literally help you grow. With all the various events that took place in my life, I truly needed that person to enter my life. A woman who had always been there took me in and loved me as her own. It’s amazing how a village can really come together to help raise a young child in need. While there are the masses that need help, it always starts with one. My aunt became my savior with the help of additional extended family members. My village rallied around me and took me in and saved my life. Her name is Patricia Curry.
The youngest of my grandmother’s children, Patricia is the strongest. While she was not in the place in her life to truly be ready to take me in she was willing and ready. She held my hand, she told me she loved me, she told me that it was all right, she made it all right for me to smile again. However, this did not come easy, but she did not give up. I went through a time where I was unsure if I was truly wanted and felt like an inconvenience or more of a burden. How crazy is it for a child to feel like more of a burden rather than a wanted asset? Well, that was me and I stayed in that state for over a year. Patricia was there to teach me that life wanted more from me by spending time with me and giving me the necessities and desire to live.
Patricia is someone who has consistently delivered on the purpose God has given her in this life. As a special education teacher, she has delivered on her word to educate and help those in need. Throughout my high school years, she guided me and gave me that zest for life again. Additionally, she made me realize that I could love my parents and be content with their directions in life while still creating my own direction in life. Each day I was going through life she was there to provide feedback, to counsel, to parent and to listen. If you have never heard of the phrase “Aunty-Momma” well now you have. She is my second mother and the reason I am here today to say I was loved through a hard time and made it through. There is never a time I can say she was not there and even when I was in trouble I appreciated her.
Sometimes everyday heroes are right under your nose and you never would know it. No one in my extended family knew the damage that was going on, but when they did my aunt stepped in. As I said, while this story may read as it is about me, it is about my SHERO, Patricia Curry. She is a true example of leading from the heart and giving so many a reason to continue to strive for their goals and live. The love she instilled in my heart has been given to others which will continue to create a story to be shared.