Growing to Care

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Each pounding step sends shockwaves up my body. My breathing is labored, but controlled. Inhale for two steps, exhale for two steps. Repeat. Midway through my run, my body has begun to complain. Amidst a sea of thoughts fighting for my attention, a sound breaks through. My phone is ringing.

Without breaking stride, I swipe my thumb to answer the phone call. “Hey, who is this?” I ask, neglecting to check caller id. “Hey girl, it’s me.” The voice was garbled, but recognizable. “Hey Delaney. Inhale. What’s up? Exhale.” In the same broken tone, her request is simple: “Can you come over?”

I quickly realized the unclear voice was not a result of bad connection. Delaney’s characteristically chipper voice was cracking with emotion. Initially confused, I suddenly remembered that six weeks prior, Delaney’s father was diagnosed with stage four Melanoma. I stopped in my tracks. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I rushed through the front door of the all-too-familiar household. All eyes looked to me as I entered the living room. To my surprise, the room seemed to let out a sigh of relief as I stepped through the doorway. Had they been waiting for me? As I glanced around the space, my eyes skimmed over familiar faces - Jonathan, Laura,...

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