Stop everything you're doing (besides, what are you doing? It's Saturday) and watch this.

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aaarrrrgyle
aaarrrrgyle

Warning: Super Long. Sorry.

I think this girl might be my hero. My life was NOTHING like this growing up, but was still anomalous for the upper-middle class town I grew up in. We were evicted four days shy of my 14th birthday. We lived in a motel for a while and then a few other places during high school. We usually didn't have a car. Sometimes we didn't have heat/hot water or electricity. The heat was always the first to go.

I felt so sorry for myself the whole time. I was so ashamed of my everything. When I was inducted into the National Honor Society, my parents walked to the ceremony (we only lived about 1.5 miles from the school) but I was too ashamed to walk home with them and asked them to walk ahead. My mom passed away last year from pneumonia at the age of 66, which pretty obviously wouldn't have happened if she was insured/had money for healthcare and wasn't focused completely on keeping her, my father with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and my older(!) addict brother alive and housed. Two months before she died they were evicted from their apartment and spent the remainder in motels, begging from charities and from me. My dad is in a nursing home now and my brother is in prison.

One of my biggest regrets now is that time I made them walk home ahead of me. I was ashamed. I had reason (or what seems like it to a 16 year old), but it kills me that my parents were always trying their hardest and I tried to push them away. I've struggled with the suspicion or knowledge of the facts that they might have resented me or felt spurned. I deserve it.

Through all this, though, I have to say sports were a blessing for me as well. And partly for the same reason as Hannah - It kept me out of the house and active and made me accountable to a group other than my family. It gave me something to focus on and it helped me with self-worth. Last year I was inducted into my High School's athletic hall of fame on the tenth anniversary of my graduation. When I made my speech, I just pretty much lost it. It had only been five months since my mom passed and I was there alone. All of the other inductees were there with family - many of whom were in the Hall of Fame themselves. But I had many people come up to me and congratulate me and comfort me. Despite - or maybe because of - my problems, I built a life for myself. If I had been as dedicated as Hannah, I could have done so much more. And I really hope she continues to be a wonderful, self-aware, and caring person as she so evidently is now.