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Second Chances: The Power of Forgiveness

Joined: 3/23/2016
Posts: 1
My older sister and I were practically inseparable; it wasn’t like we ever really did much together, except watch TV in her bed where she spent the majority of her time, or binge-eat chocolate if she was stressed, but I loved being with her all the same. Anjini was my everything and I admired her just for existing.

On September 20th, my 13th birthday, Anjini gave me a homemade collage of my baby and elementary school pictures - it was the most wonderful thing someone had ever given me. I pinned it on my wall and seeing her gift put a smile on my face everyday.

One month later, on October 31st, she had a girl from school over and I was stuck at home because none of the people I wanted to spend Halloween with were free. So instead, I went trick-or-treating with Anjini and her friend, all the time envying how close they were.

Three days later, on November 3rd, I woke up at 3am to the sound of my mom on a phone call with the paramedics; my beautiful sister had tried to kill herself. The doctors said she had had the pills since early September.

My prized collage became a goodbye present, her “perfect” friend someone who my sister had confided in instead of me. My entire world was turned upside down in one single moment.

I would struggle with accepting my new reality and forgiving Anjini as she fought a war in her head, trying to find reasons to live.

She began to change from a depressed, suicidal teenager to a courageous woman whose future was blindingly bright, but I was stuck in my past - stuck in seeing my sister as I had that day, with her eyes rolled back into her head, her head jerked to the side, lifeless.

I refused to believe in the person my sister was becoming because it was too hard to love her so fully again knowing just how easily love could take my world from me.

Giving Anjini a second chance is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

As I healed, I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I started to appreciate the simple, exquisite beauty of this world; I began to see everything for what it was: a gift that I was by no means entitled to. I learned and continue to live the value of forgiveness; I've realized that to live in the present, I need to stop reliving November 3rd and start seeing my sister for who she is now and not as who she was. And I discovered the strength that I possessed and the courage that helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and embrace it. But most of all, I've grown to understand that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Be the Change essay being chosen as one of our finalists in the running for 1st place for our Feb./ March 2016 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment!

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by April 30th. You can check this page for the results after April 30th:

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

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2016 10:35:52 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Feb./ March 2016 Second Chances essay being selected as our first place winner!

We will be contacting you via your registration email for prize details.

You can check this page after April 30th for all the writing contest results::

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: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9:00:42 PM
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