Neither of my siblings attended college and I hope to follow through with my education so that, someday, I can give back to the community of people who have supported me throughout my life.
Growing up, until I was about 8 or 9, I was part of what some would call a “broken home.” I lived only with my dad and visited my mom some days after school or on weekends. While I knew most kids lived with both parents, I still didn’t feel like I was really “missing” anything. That is, however, until Cheryl came into our lives. After my dad married her, everything changed. Our house became so much lighter and happier when she was around. For six months after the wedding, my family was the happiest it had ever been. Until, one day, my dad and Cheryl weren’t as happy. I didn’t understand at the time but Cheryl had been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer., something that changed our lives forever. Cheryl wasn’t given your average “6 months to live” or anything like that but we all suspected there was not much time left. Though you may think that her diagnosis would plunge our family into darkness and despair, the opposite is actually true. We all became focused on making the best of our time together. And, when the end of 6 months came and Cheryl was still with us, we still kept that carpe diem attitude. There were ups and downs for sure, I can’t lie about that, and celebrations each time Cheryl went into remission.
I’ve learned throughout my journey with my family that moments are the most important parts of life. We don’t remember days, we remember moments. I am so thankful that I have had the last nine years of my life to create moments with Cheryl, despite breast cancer. Even after losing her this February, I can still look back on those moments and smile. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” is one of my favorite quotes and has become a sort of mantra for me. For college, I plan on attending a university to major in Stage Management in order to hopefully become a stage manager on Broadway someday. I’ve been through my fair share of dream jobs but once I considered becoming a stage manager, everything seemed to fall into place. As long as I can remember, I have always been concerned with making those around me happy and supporting their interests and aspirations. However, that sometimes meant that I neglected my own feelings.
As a stage manager, I would be in charge of supporting the entire cast of a Broadway show and, at the same time, I would be pursuing my own dream. Stage managing is the perfect combination of OCD organization, people skills, and artistic interpretation that syncs up perfectly with my personality. Broadway not only supports those on stage, but it also can be a remedy for those watching. I know that first hand. Whenever I have ever had a bad day or was disheartened by Cheryl’s condition, I have always turned to Broadway showtunes in order to lift my spirits. I would love to be a part of that support for others. I am motivated to attend college mostly because of my dad and Cheryl. They have both supported my dreams and aspirations, no matter how ludicrous. Cheryl and I always enjoyed seeing musicals and plays together and I would love to have a career where I can remember those moments forever. Neither of my siblings attended college and I hope to follow through with my education so that, someday, I can give back to the community of people who have supported me throughout my life. Whether that be Little Pink or my high school drama club, I am optimistic that one day I will be able to support someone the way I have been supported. My life has been blessed by so many people and it is best summed up by this Wicked quote, “I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true but I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.” I love you Cheryl and I love everyone who has gotten me to where I am today. Thank you all.