STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Unsung Hero: My Great Grandmother’s Survival

Joined: 1/15/2015
Posts: 2
Unsung Hero: My Great Grandmother’s Survival

Ninety two years after her birth, she gently flips the pages of a family tree scrapbook. It’s scribbled with blessings, with jokes, little notes of admirations; testimonials to her accomplishments.
A matriarch.
We wonder if she comprehends the magnitude of her brave actions, the generous contribution that her mere existence still serves as for the entire family.
In the colorful pages we had designed for her, a lifetime is held still in picture frames and detailed descriptions. She is our very roots, what holds the tree together, shapes each branch, fuels life into the crispy leaves.
Years ago, when the world was still moist with fear and remorse from WWII, she had marched alone to a new land. She was sixteen, and full of life. One by one her family had been plucked away by Nazi rule, yet she was full of life. So alone, she marched to a new land. Alone, she started anew.
My great grandmother, not praised for her bravery or heroic act of creating a legacy for herself and her people, sits in her fifty year old, two bedroom home, and flips through pages of happiness and misery.
Most of the time, she is alone in this house. Her offsprings had moved off and dispersed like liquid, visiting when convenient. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren will be forced to sit down and listen to her words of pure wisdom, her vibrant story, the way in which she lifted this broken plant and gave it new life.
So she put the past behind her, and she intricately built the foundation. Then, with sore arms, she firmly spread herself out to become the walls of this family, now exceeding the original capacity she had anticipated. Through storms she had kept up the ceiling on her bare back. She had swept the floors from any form of deformity. She had filled in the gaps for each and every single one of us, now an extension of her; her very twigs, leaves, and branches.
My great grandmother is our very soul; our matriarch. The noblest qualities are found in the wrinkles which serve as the rings of her trunk. The meticulous details engraved in her bark tell the fine tale of a survivor.
In a time where most trees had been burnt down to the core and turned into all but ashes, my great grandmother courageously extended life, through any cost.
Her branches compensate her sacrifice, her heartache. For that she is our hero.
Rate this:
Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Unsung Hero essay being selected as one of our top 10 teen essays for our January writing contest.

To view all the results of our January 2015 contest, please check our winners page on or after February 28th:

Our editors are voting on the winners and we will have our results completed by Thursday.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 2:43:52 PM
Rate this:
Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
We have tallied our results and your essay is a Runner up in our January 2015 Unsung Hero teen writing contest. You should be very proud of your accomplishment.

Thanks for sharing your story on and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs
Stageoflife Co-founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 6:48:47 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy