Peace and the Unending Journey to Find It

My life started out abnormal. Due to the choices of someone I have never met, I was a living, breathing repercussion of a one-night-stand. I'm not angry. How can you be mad at someone who gave you life? Just somewhat disappointed that I was created in lust than love. But that was many years ago, and I had no say in the matter, so what's the point in dwelling on it? However, that is where my story starts. After being adopted by a beautiful couple with beautiful twin boys, I sprang into life. Growing up I lived in many places due to my adoptive father serving in the military for over two decades. I grew well and healthy, homeschooled up until middle school, and finally found a place in public school where I felt as though I belonged. That is where my life began to change. A few months before I started sixth grade, my father had an accident that left him almost unable to walk. After a few surgeries, he seemed better, however, he walked with a distinct limp. Fast-forward a few years, and my life was nearly unrecognizable to the simple one I had lived a short while before. My father had two complete rebuilding of his knees, which left him in pain and barely able to walk. After the artificial implants being rejected, the doctors simply shook their heads and shut their doors, saying "we've done the best we can.". As a child, I was heartbroken by the fact that my dad, my role model, could never play soccer with me again, could never run, nor teach me how to fight. He retired from the military, and after that, things went on a downward spiral. We decided to build a house, which is a whole nother story in itself, but in short, we were cheated, stolen from, and lied to all over the sake of money. Our new home, a place where we were supposed to feel safe and comforted, was falling down around our heads, and rotting with mold. Nobody did anything to help us. We were alone in a fight against insurance companies that would rather save their reputation than do what's right. Still, we fought for over four years to get back what was rightfully ours. All the while, my dad's health declined. After developing asthma, my mother and I were watching this strong man waste away to nothing. After my dad developed brain atrophy due to blast injuries, it was a well known, but unspoken thing in our household. My dad was going to die. Going through high school, I was expected to be normal. But how could I? How could I with a dying father? How could I pretend as though everything is alright every day when my house was determined uninhabitable? I had questions in my head that no seventeen-year-old should deal with. How will I console my mother? How will I work a job, go to school, and take care of my family? I was afraid, I felt alone, and I had no idea what to do. But in all of this, I held onto hope. It was my lifeline. Hope that one day I would find peace was the only thing keeping my head on my shoulders. Each bad thing that would happen, it would only grow stronger. I'm not through my difficult times yet, but this story had to be told. My father is a great man, and nobody recognizes what he gave in order to let civilians sleep safely in their beds. He gave everything, His ability to walk, to run, to play with his kids. He gave up his very mind for his country, and when I ask him if he would do it all over again, he tells me the same thing. "I would do it ten times over to save an American life."

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