Lauryn Cartwright

Lauryn Cartwright

Honestly, telling my mother thank you doesn’t quite feel like enough, although she would appreciate it. Although what she was going through in her marriage prior to me being born, when she found out about my conception she didn’t abort me, but she allowed me to be born. After having one won & I was followed by two other daughters and two other sons, totaling six children. With the first three of us being born year after year & her heated marriage with my father, she decided to keep us and struggle with us. When my dad left her with four of us, she struggled with us all for four years, until my father made our Christmas vacation with him a permanent one. He enrolled us in school and informed us that we should run if we were to ever see her in public. Of course, social services got involved and placing us in the system or ranfurly homes became an option. Before my mother allowed that to happen, she decided to leave us with him in 2012. They later decided to make their marriage work “for the kids” considering the fact that they weren’t divorced but only separated. Unfortunately, the marriage had no chance of becoming what us kids or they as adults intended it to be. Some days in school I would just cry, and certain topics in Family Life were to sensitive for me to hear about, so I would have to ask to be excused. Verbal degradation never seemed to cease and trust had become nonexistent. My father became someone I’d never seen before. We, (my mother, little sister and big brother) moved out of the house and we couldn’t go to school, we slept by family friends, sometimes in motels and it came a time where we almost slept in my mother’s van on the beach, but she used her last to ensure that we had a place to call “home”, she’d do anything to get us out of that environment, she said “never to let a man treat you like that” to her girls and she said “never treat a woman like that” to her young men. We ended up staying by my sister’s godmother for 2 months and we finally moved out in December. Our Christmas gift was our new home. Although it was unfurnished we were grateful. We had to sleep on air mattresses and had our clothes in garbage bags. My mother never gave up on us, she would not eat lunch if it means her bills are getting paid. Today I am 16 years of age. I am a high school graduate awarded with my Bahamas High School Diploma and through it all, maintained a GPA of 3.22, I made the Public School Scholars List but I wasn’t able to fill out the application form and go to the interviews because I didn’t have a laptop and no one would allow me to use theirs. I got accepted into Monroe College my godfather helped to pay the application fee, I also got accepted into Johnson & Wales University the application was free, but my dream college is Holland College. I thank my mom for everything she has done for me. I just want to go to college, finish college and be successful so I can help my mother financially because that’s what she deserves and also be a pace setter for my siblings that are growing up behind me. I want to show them that — “it doesn’t matter where you start. It matters where you finish.” -TD Jakes