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By Shafreya Wilkins
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Shafreya Wilkins
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOne brisk night of October 31, 1998 changed my whole life. A fire broke out in my home which took the lives of my mother and one of my brothers, my father, my brother and I survied. Minutes later we were rushed to a hosptial where my family found out my mother and brother had passed, and I was in a comma fighting for my life. The doctor told my grandmother that I had 50/50 chance to survive and told her to pull the plug and she said no, he said you're letting her suffer and she said jesus children don't suffer, I remained in a comma for 3 months. When I came out I had too learn how to do everything over again; how to talk, eat, use the bathroom, dress myself, tie my shoes and the most difficult one was to walk. Going back to school was a difficult situation for me because I was now in a wheel chair, some of the kids laughed and pointed at me. Middle school was a little better, the kids wasn't as cruel and I made more friends. Just when things seem like they were getting better, one blazing afternoon of August 23, 2002 my aunt came to my house with tragic news. She told me and my brother to sit down and she said your father was murder this morning. And just like that my life was turned upside down again. When I got into high school things where finely going well for me the teachers were ok which made my learning experience there easy. But before all of this took place I was just a normal kid growing up in Eastside of Syracuse, NY but my life wasn't easy. My mom and dad fought a lot, and when he wasn't hitting her he was hitting me and my brother, for no reason. If he wasn't hitting us he was controlling what we did. My mom would kick him out then let come back into our life's. This spiral has had a major effect on my life, and what kind of men I deal with in the future.
I'm now graduated from high school, I attend onondaga community college for 1 year, but decided to take time off to focus on book.
* * *
While I was in the hospital recuperating my grandpa Ed would come see me often. During his visits he would talk to me and sing church songs; and before he left he prayed that God brought me out of my comma. And he sang and he talked and prayed, until one day I opened my eyes. He was ecstatic; he called my grandma and she called the rest of the family to tell them the news that they've all been waiting for. I remember a large crowd of people all around me, but I don't remember who was all there. This continued for awhile, it was like I was a new born baby or something; everyone was anticipating my recovery they brought me lots of presents. Toys, teddy bears, dolls, cards and flowers. But what I didn't know was that, I would be in for the surprise of my life; I would learn the devastating news of my mother and bothers death. The first thing I told myself was that, this can't be true, this can't be happing to me. For a long time I was in denial; I was waiting for someone to tell me it was just a joke and for my mom and brother to walk in. The longer I waited, I realized it was real.
* * *
High School was a bit different for me. It was just a lager crowd than I was use to. They were very loud, rude and at times it became overwhelming for me. No one knows this but, I started taking drugs to drag me though the day. Not every day because I didn't have time in the morning. I know what your thinking, hard core drugs? but it wasn't like that. Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I originally was taking it for different symptoms I was having, but then I started taking them to just keep me out of the loop, from what ever was going on around me, and from dealing with all the build up pain I had inside. I know what else your thinking, why not try counseling? I did go to counseling. But it seemed like every few months I was juggled around to different people; and it's very hard for me to from relationships with new people because you never know their intentions, or what malicious acts their capable of. High school wasn't all bad though, I had friends. One I got realy close with. I'm not going to say her name, so we'll call her Jenny. Me and Jenny clicked as soon as we meet. We sat next to each other in class so we can talk, we exchanged numbers she came to my house, I went to hers. We were pretty tight she even wanted me to be the godmother of her child. We were best friends, at least that's what I was led to believe. After the baby was born I started hearing from different people how she would talk about, and she wasn't being real with. I ignored what I heard what I was hearing at first; because no one wants to believe that someone they trust and call their firend would say crule things behind their backs. So was still Jenny's firend, I went out and got lots of baby clothes and everything. I was so excited until, I was hearing from other people that anther girl was the godmother. So I asked her you know, what's going on how come I keep hearing the same thing, that I'm not the godmother. And she said "girl you know how people be talking in this school" Come to find out Jenny lied to my face. I couldn't believe she played me; I felt so stupid for believing all the bullshit she told me. People tried to warn me about Jenny, but I didn't listen, I was hoping to prove them wrong. Jenny tried to apologize for everything she did. But I was fed up, I had enough; I know I was a great person and I wasn't going to continue to let her fuck me over anymore. Needless to say I did have a steady counselor for a while; and completed the program. It worked for a while, then I start having those thoughts again. Why I'm I still here? What's my purpose? Then I learned God left me here for a reason. For me to touch peoples lives, and help someone that's in a similar situation as me. Also to be a support for my grandma and little brother. And I'm thankful that he left me here to see that little boy grow into a young man.
* * *
I don't want anyone too get the wrong impression that my father was horrible a man because he wasn't, just when he drank he turn into a monster, a man I didn't recognize this man; when he was sober he was the sweets man ever. Sometimes I can still fell his kisses on my forehead and checks, the sent of his cologne, and the touch from his large hands. I miss him more than words can express. He didn't have the chance to see my first day of high school, my prom, my graduation or my first day of college, he wont get a chance to see me get married or have children. Because his life was taking from him by a selfish, evil person who gave me and my brother a sucky ass apology. I knew he wasn't sorry. Not one tear drop from his face, he didn't show any remorse. Even when he got sentenced he acted liked it was normal every day behavior, like that's what he did for a living. That was my first taste of a malicious person. I couldn't and still don't believe you can murder someone in cold blood; and yet fell noting at all.
As a young child I enjoyed reading, I would pick up a book and just began too read. My favorite books to read were Dr. Seuss books. I must have read all of them before I started too take inserts in a new author, R.L Stine; even though some of his books started out the same way I enjoyed reading them because, all of them kept you captivated thourgh out the story waiting too see what happened next. My teachers noticed my passion for reading also. They would let me go read to the kindergarten after I completed my work. It wasn't long before they talked too my mother about putting me in a program for gifted students. I shined there too.
* * *
When I was four years old, I loved going too my grandma Glenda and grandpa Big Ed house, every weekend and especially on holidays. We baked cheesecakes and I would help her make meals. My favorite was mac&cheese, corn beard and fired chicken with ice cold sweet tea. When it was time too go home I would cry to stay, she would tell me "baby go home with mommy and daddy, and you can back next weekend". I didn't understand back then but I do now. She wanted me too spend as much time with them as I could before their lifes were cut short. But when I wasn't at my grandparents house, I was home playing with my brother Frequan. We were so close we did everthing together, played games, rode bikes, watched sports, watched nickelodeon. Our favorite shows were Kenan and Kel, Guts, Cousin skeeter and Rugrats. But what I miss the most is our bike rides, are talks that lasted half the night, even our fights. When I lost him I didn't feel the same; like half of me was missing. He just wasn't my brother, he was my best firend. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not thinking about him. Thinking how much my life would be a little more easier, a little more stress free. I thought for sure we would grow old together, but God had different plans. My brother and I enjoyed spending time with my mom also, she would take us to the park, the zoo, The New York State Fair and trips too Georgia and Albany, NY. The rode trips were the best because, I got a chance to listen to my favorite music. I still have two brothers left. Well three counting my cousin that grew up with me and my brother. One I don't talk to because he doesn't live with me. He lives with his mother on different side of town and we don't get too see him as much as we would like to. Every since I was a child I liked to help people. Not because I got candy or cookies but because, it just gave me a grate felling inside. That's why I wrote this book too help you get thourgh difficult situations because I been thourgh a lot and I know how it fells to lose someone close too you, the pain dose get easier to deal with over time, as long as you keep a close connection to God. The only reward that I want now is for my story too touch peoples lifes, and help someone get thourgh tough situations. I look back over my life and say, if it wasn't for the Lord where would I be? I thank him for blessing me with my amazing grandparents who pushed me everyday to make sure I never gave up. I use to ask Lord why me? What did I do to deserve this? I can now say that I'm glad I experienced everything I went thourgh because it made me a stronger person. Not only for myself, but for others as well. I hope that I touched every persons hart that read this, especially the young man or women that was considering giving up on life. God is real, if he brought me thourgh my storms I now he will do the same for you, Just hold on a little longer. Keep your faith it's almost over. Your life is very precious so make every moment count.
My grandma Glenda has thought me so much about life, love and faith. So many of these values I hold dear. I learned from you how too be strong and put on a happy face at your lowest moments; and no mater how your felling always treat people how you would want them to treat you because, there is someone going through more than you. And my hart will always hold on to those feelings of warmth and kindness. The way you live your life is an inspiration to me and, I'm very blessed to have you in my life. And thanks for always being there for me. I'm very fortunate to have you in my life.
My grandpa Ed was very proud of me. He will tell me I was a very sick young girl. He would tell me that he would pray prey for me. He would pick me up from school sometimes, he also would have talks with me. I would never forget the stories he told. He also worked very hard from a young child to a mature man. He came from a family of ten, and was born and raised in Georgia. After his father became ill he began working to help take care of the rest of his family. I love grandpa for taking care of me and my brother and loving us as if we were his own children. He was a faithful deacon who loved the Lord and enjoyed going to church. He was a very helpful man to more than just his family, most of his friends remember the things he did to help the overcome difficult situations in their life. When I got better I re-joined the church that my grandparents went to. I became an usher on the youth department. I've learned many things from my grandpa such as being nice to others, be happy, keep my head up during difficult situations, pray. I miss him a lot
My grandma is very proud of me for all of the things I've accomplished. She helped me get were I am today by teaching me basic skills such as talking, walking, and eating. It may sound easy to just do, but believe me it was very difficult. At times I would think negative thoughts like I couldn't accomplish a goal but she pushed me in the right direction and taught me to never give up no matter how had a task can be. We are very close we do mostly everything together. My life would be very difficult if it wasn't for her; she also taught me many life skills. She also taught me to never depend on anyone for anything. If you want something go out and work hard for it. She prays for me all the time, her faith is very strong. She tells me all the time that I become a strong young lady that makes wise decisions. So far I'm doing a damn good job. I'm like a daughter to her and she's like a mother to me we've been through a lot together, but we always get thourgh it by the grace of God. She cooks meals for me regularly. She's a very kind hearted person. She took me to all of my appointments. She worked very hard to help me get my high school diploma. I'm currently in college now.
* * *
After my dad was murdered, I kept having this nightmare that, I was running to his lifeless body to help him; but there were people in my way, the more I ran the more people surrounded me. They were horrible. I woke up crying, and drenched in sweat, These nightmares would continue into adulthood. I could never make out what they meant though. I thought long and hard, until I came up with my own conclusion; "maybe this means I need to take care of my little brother. Protect him from anyone that tries to harm him." What I mean by this is, to keep him on the right path, make sure to guide him in making the right dessions in life. Keep him away from people who don't want anything in life. I try to be the most positive person I can be around him, and hopefully he'll follow in my foot steps; or be greater than me at what ever it is that he decides to become. The saddest moment in my life was when my mom passed away, because I never got the chance to experience mother daughter things like, going shopping, getting mannies and petties, go to diner exct. Every time I seen moms out with their daughters or heard stories from my friends I so despretly wanted to know what that felt like.
* * *
Going thourgh life isn't easy but, when you go thourgh life changing situations, it makes you a stronger, and that's how you find out who you are as a person. The reason I talk about God so much is that, he taught me to be a loving, forgiving person; I've always known Him, but when I found Him I learned to be more understanding of serent situations that went on in my life. And learned how not to be bitter, and a little more forgiving towards people. The music that inspired me in my troubled time was gospel. I listened to artist such as, Donnie Mcclurkin, Kirk Franklin, Smokey Norful and Marvin Sapp. The reason why I love these artist are that, the words they sang sounded like they were intended for me at the time; like God was sending me a message to be strong keep my head lifted to the sky, the storm is almost over. I listen to them when I'm down for a reminder that, God is with me and he won't leave me. Keep your relationship with God close, he's the only one that's going to be with you thourgh all your pain, and when it's over, he will still be there. When prayers go up, blessings come down.
Excerpted from Testimony by Shafreya Wilkins Copyright © 2011 by Shafreya Wilkins. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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