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"Uphill both ways, barefoot" Hm. I struggled with what to write about this week and have totally put it off until the last minute. I didn't know whether or not to go about this by writing fiction or writing from the heart. I have found that in beginning this competition that although my entries may be sad, they're actually therapeutic for me. Like I said in the past I've finally started to come to terms about my life growing up, and it amazes me to see how much I've done, and even though times got tough- I always found a way through the darkness into the sunshine.

I've often said that my life is a roller coaster, and that totally goes along with the theme of "Uphill both ways, barefoot", because a roller coaster can be just like that.

One of the biggest things that I've struggled with in the last few years is the death of my best friend's mom 2 years ago, actually two years exactly next week. My best friend (Kim) and I met in middle school, and we were in the high school marching, concert, and jazz bands together. We also sang in the school's choir. With my mom being a single parent in meant that she had to often work long hours and I would often to over to Kim's house after school, or after band practice. We had this tradition of getting all "glammed" up for our concerts and performances together, always at her house. Her mom (Lauren) truly was my rock, and the mom that I needed in my life, the mom that I was missing. Going through the tough teenage years is hard, but going at it alone makes it even worse. She took me shopping, taught me to drive, and listened to anything and everything I had to say no matter how crazy it was. She didn't just listen, she gave advice too- some advice that I still go by each day, and when I do- I always feel that "pang" of sadness.

All though our high school years, Lauren had breast cancer. She was a true survivor in every definition of the word. She beat the cancer 3 times! Each time kicking it completely in the butt. But in early 2007, it was back- and it started to take her entire body with it. After a long, long battle she passed away on November 4, 2007. I will never forget the days leading up to her passing, and I'm still haunted when I think about being there when she took her last breath. No matter what I believe about heaven, if there truly is one she is there- and I know she's smiling down on all of us. But sometimes even though I find comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain, I still find myself wanting to call her, or go visit her at home. When I got my job, met my amazing boyfriend, finally starting to patch up my family- she was the first one I wanted to tell. I'm sure she knows exactly what is going on with me- and I hope I've made my "mom" proud. I love you Lauren, and I miss you everyday.

So all the pain, and all the joy- it's like going uphill, both ways- barefoot.
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eternalflame4

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