Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?
It was a cold Sunday night in early December last year. The snow was coming down around us, and I was still tired from the first wrestling tournament of the season the day before. Everything seemed normal-until my mom received a devastating phone call. It was my dad’s co-worker telling her that my dad had a heart attack in Kentucky driving his 18 wheeler back from Tennessee. My mom eventually found the hospital and called them, and a few moments later-with my family silently around her-we knew the worst was confirmed with a soul- splitting cry.
It was completely unexpected, and I was heart broken. I went to school the next day, and everyone questioned why I was there. I needed some stability, a sense that the world I knew was still intact. I eventually talked to my counselor, but I never went to any grief counseling. We were comforted by those who were closest to us, and those who knew my dad well. But my comfort came from my friends, letting me know that they accepted me through it all. I was healing alone-I hardly talked to anyone about it- but I had to stay strong for myself and my family. My father was a great man, full of love, compassion, and ambition. I handled his passing fairly internally, but I sublimated it with my favorite writing form: poetry.