EDITOR'S NOTE: Taylor Whitaker won the Laws of Life Essay Contest for the 10th grade category at Thomson High School recently. Below is Taylotr's essay. The winners of other grade levels have been printed for the past three weeks in The McDuffie Mirror. This is the last Laws of Life Essay winner.
During last summer, I discovered a new sense of loyalty toward my family. I learned that my mom was going to be having surgery in July, and she would be needing the help of me and my dad when she came home from the hospital. In the beginning, I was a little disappointed because I would not get to work that summer, but my mom's health was more important. When I think about it, my mom has given up things for me, also. When I first started school at 5 years old, she gave up her job she had worked for many years to work at home. She wanted to be involved with me in school. I remember her reading to some of the kids in my class and going on field trips with me. She was there for me, so I wanted to be there for her. Before and after the surgery, I was there encouraging her. My life lesson is, "The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other."
Before school let out, I grew excited because I was going to apply for a job during the summer. I was already 15 years old, and I wanted to earn a little money for myself instead of always having my parents give me money. I thought, "I'm going to have my own money to buy whatever I want." Soon before the end of school, my mom went to the doctor and found out she would have surgery sometime in July. She said I wouldn't be able to work that summer because she would need my help coping with surgery. At first, I was a little disappointed. But, I decided to dedicate myself to helping her instead of thinking about my own wants and desires.
The day finally came for my mom to have her surgery. We drove to the hospital and arrived about 9:30 a.m. She was soon taken back. We waited with her until the minutes clocked down for her to be pushed into the operating room. Finally, she was rolled away. We only had an hour until it would be over. Her surgery was to end at twelve-thirty. Soon an hour had passed...an hour and a half...two hours. I was worried something was wrong. The operation lasted an extra two hours. My mom ended up having to have a more difficult surgery, which was a lot more complicated than she expected. She would also have to have another surgery five weeks later. I was concerned about her. But, she ended up being fine and was up on her feet walking around the next day. I thanked God everything had turned out good.
One night I even spent the night at the hospital because my mom was nervous staying in the room by herself. My dad was exhausted, so I told her I would stay. I had to sleep on a chair that was as hard as a rock, and I don't think I got any sleep that night. It was worth it, though, because my mom was happy I stayed. A few days later, she got to come home. At home, I took on some of the responsibility of the chores, such as washing dishes, sweeping, and watering the flowers. I was happy to help.
"The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other" means that if a family is not loyal to each other, it will fall, just like an army would. My mom would not have done well without me and my dad. We were there by her side through it all. In a way, our family is like our own little army: small but mighty. We only have three people living in our house, but the love is greater than any large number could ever be. We are there for each other through good times and bad. Our army will never fall.