I would like to begin by saying that my life began in a very normal fashion. I grew up with two good parents and a very stable household. Unfortunately, my thirst for adventure and mischief was beginning to lead me down some dark corridors. As a freshman in high school, I was a very edgy, popular kid who had things very easy.
Sadly, I took advantage of this and started becoming someone that I didn't recognize. This is what led to my self destruction a few years later. I got involved with some bad people and wound up participating in some burglaries and the sale of stolen property. I was eventually arrested and wound up in jail for six months of my life. It was a difficult time and my entire life seemed to have spiraled out of control. At the time of my arrest, I had a new born baby girl and was in a very unstable relationship. I will never forget seeing my child for the first time through a piece of plexi-glass and not being able to kiss or hold her. I went from being one of the most likely to succeed to one who probably never would.
Those six months of my life were probably the most crucial and important ones in my life. I had two choices. I could blame everyone else for where I was or I could systematically go through each step I had made and decide where I went wrong. I reverse engineered my life and realized that the only one to blame was me. I had a child that I could not be responsible for and I had hurt everyone I loved very badly. During those six months I developed a list. A list of things that would define the rest of my life, how I would live it and the type of people I would live it with. I was determined to be a good man, a good father and a good partner to whom ever I wound up with.
Upon my release from jail, I was fortunate to have a few good, old friends that stuck by me through thick and thin. Even though I had ignored them, they let me back in and stood by me even though I was now a felon. A few days after my release, I was introduced to a beautiful young woman named Jennifer who was finishing college and was very excited to be a social worker. I remember talking with her and eventually asking her on a date. We went out with two friends and decided to go out again. At this point, my life was still not in order. My daughter was living in a very unstable situation with her mother and I had only been out of jail a few days.
I was very upfront with Jennifer about my situation but she didn't blink an eye. She was interested in who I was upon meeting me, rather than who I was then. After a few weeks of dating, I knew she was the person I wanted to spend my life with. I had never been around anyone who was so loving, supportive and solid. A year and a half later we were married. I had gone back to finish college and we had sole custody of a three year old little girl that Jennifer treated as her own.
That was fifteen years ago and I'm happy to say that since we have raised a beautiful seventeen year old who will be in college in a year and Jennifer and I have both managed to finish grad school and gain our Master's degrees. I think the most important thing in this story is that I could never show enough gratitude to the beautiful woman who saw something in me that it seemed no one else could. Without her I could never have done what I've done and could have never have given my daughter the life and stability that we have. With that being said, I think I may be the luckiest man alive. Also, after trying for ten years, Jen and I now have a two year old of our own. He's keeping us young and very busy. I do have to say though that I owe it all to Jen. She is everything to me. Absolutely everything.
Submitted by Anonymous
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