The blazing hot sun rested on my neck. The wind blew softly through my hair. Where was I? I was dead center of the Copper River on a raft with five or six other people. My feet rested on the bowline that protects the water from coming into the raft. The kids and the two adults sang songs and shared stories about themselves. I looked around at the scenery, but to me everything was familiar because I spend every summer on this river. Why do I spend time on this river?
One reason is because of my dad, Phil, worked there, and I helped him with his job cleaning fish buckets. We also move people’s fish from the boats to the cleaning table. My uncle Roger filleted the fish. Mark and Sam transported people to the good dip netting places. Sam, my uncle, gave my family and I rides on his boat every year. The next reason is the fantastic view of everything that takes me far away from my past. The river takes the bad things I have seen and burns them away from my memories, and also the river sewed my scars shut. The wind blew away the nightmares of the past and the smell put me right back to the good memories I hold close. These days on the river were peaceful and the waves weren’t that big, but that was only the first few days. On the seventh day, we weren’t prepared for what was going to happen next.
Instead of putting my boots on that were already wet from the water in the raft, I put my only dry shoes on and was very careful to not get my shoes wet. Everyone else had at least dry shirts or pants on. I looked around to see the beautiful trees and also the gorgeous eagles. I had noticed the river was getting more turbulent and soon we had to work as a team to fight the big waves. People say when you’re in danger and you’re life is on the line everything goes fast, but for me it went slow. I wasn't showing any fear, but my heart was going fast. I held my paddle in the river. Then everyone on our raft saw what was in front of us. It was a big rock. Next thing we knew we were going under the water and then we all were drenched. We fought the river and eventually we made it through the rough waves. Then I saw something that wasn’t familiar. The glacier was right in front of us. The water was ice cold and the visitors that popped out from the water looked at us with their brown eyes. They were seals. I was shocked, and we were right in the middle of the most peaceful place I had ever seen.
There were two paths in front of me, and I wandered off onto my own path. We all have paths to take, but do we ever travel our own? My past will never change; half of me is happy because I’m proud of who I am. The other half is lost in memories that I hold close. Memories like my older sister, Deedee, singing to me as I dozed off to sleep to her voice. Her voice was like angels singing. Now it's just memories that are slowly fading. I can't,and I won't, forget the bad memories, but I try to remember the good fortune that I had, like the day I was adopted, and meeting Audrey.
The bad remarks people told me bleed though my thoughts. People hated that I dreamed of a family. They told me I wouldn't be adopted. They would tell me,“Don't dream” and “no one wants people like you.” They were wrong! People like me have a story to tell, and dreams to fill. It's just that people like me don't move forward. We always look at what people say. We don't trust a lot of people, or we just trust ourselves. People like me give up on what we love. When we hit the bottom and can't get up we think no one is there, so we give up. But living around people like my dad, Phil, makes me realize he would do anything to get me back up, and I know my mom would do the same. My whole adopted family would help me if I hit the bottom and was lost. I know my super best friend Audrey would be there to help as well. My path is to be myself, dream and write downs the things I have seen. The cruel man that gave me life also gave me a story to tell.
Slowly I moved forward knowing the one I loved was gone. I cared not if the people I loved turned their backs on me, when the tears fell down my cheek, or if I was dead or alive. I didn’t care about anything anymore, and I didn’t care if I lost everything because I already felt that I had.
Then she came back. My best friend, the one that makes the pain go away. The one who makes me smile when I am sad. The one who gives me hugs when no one else is there, and the one I hold close. She is my rose. She’s the star that I look at every night. She’s my other half and the one that completes me.
When you’re happy, things are different, and when you’re in love the world feels more brighter. It feels like you’re flying and like butterflies are flittering in your stomach. This feeling isn’t hate, it’s not pain, it’s not happiness. It’s something more than happiness. It is love.
My mind is wild. Has it ever happened that you can’t stop thinking about other things, and can’t concentrate on the thing you’re doing? Well I've been doing this for weeks. Things have been blazing through my brain. Things like do I really want to go to college or is everyone just saying I want to? “What will I do in the future?” These questions are roiling like boiling water in my head. The most important question in my head is: What will happen if I just wanted to take a break, and go anywhere? What if I just leave and never came back? The thing in my head is saying, “Go away, leave and never come back.” What if I had nowhere to go and no money to spend? If I had cash I still have nowhere to go. Maybe it's because I'm used to moving around and not staying in one place. I'm turning 18 on August 17 this year. The voices are still blowing up in my skull. I'm still trying to think if I should listen to these voices in my head and leave, or stay and fight the voices. I'm just hoping I'll make the right choice. There are two paths; one’s bad and one’s good. The problem is I don't know which one is good or bad.
Fetal Alcohol Syndromekids will never understand right from wrong. Women will never stop drinking when pregnant. Drunks will never stop drinking and driving. Soldiers will always fight. Poets will always write. The world will always spin. Things will not always make sense. Even life will never make sense. One day everything will stop; until then people will be people; animals will be animals; and alcohol will always hurt others and choices will always be choices.
Dreams are just dreams. The past is the past. The future might not be as we want. People aren’t perfected and will never be perfected. Life will be hard. We will lose ones we love. Sooner or later we will die. We can’t live forever. Even if we could live forever, we will still not be perfected. The stars will always shine. The moon will always glow. The rain will always be wet and the sun will always be hot. The fish will always swim. The birds will always sing. Babies will always fall on their first step. Alcohol will always hurt others who don’t even drink it. A drunk will always choose a bad choice.
My hands were shaking, my heart was racing, my eyes were fading, and my breath was getting shorter. My past is now my nightmares although they are getting worse. When your past haunts you this much you can't really forget it. The last time I had a good dream was in 2007. It was the middle of the winter; it was the night before my nephew passed away. I can live with my nightmares, but I can’t life without those I love. Can my nightmares get worse? I remember seeing Josh lying there on the hospital bed, denying that I lost the one that meant the world to me, wondering when he would be coming home? When will he be a father? Wondering if he'll be a good father? Will I be a good father? Knowing he won’t come home and also knowing he won’t be a father. It makes me feel sick knowing all this, but it kills me more not knowing if he is in a better place.
Seeing my nephew’s grave, hurts me because I have nothing to say. I never said good bye to him. Josh means so much, because he was like a brother to me. We did everything together, like riding dirt bikes and when we weren’t massing around, we were in the house playing videogames or outside playing football, one on one, or jumping on are bikes and going places. I was the last one to talk to him the day before he died. I told him I couldn’t wait tell he got home. Now I wish I hadn’t said that. Now I want to wait. Maybe if I waited he would be here.
Audrey Lee Shepherd is my best friend even though she can get on my nerves very quickly. She's still my friend. Audrey pierced her own ears and has four holes on each side! She's overwhelming!
Audrey is very touchy, likes to poke me with paperclips or anything in her hand, and gets hyper when she is excited. For example: we were assigned the same group for a project, and Audrey jumped up and down yelling “Yeah; we are in the same group.” She must have been very excited when she dyed her bangs purple.
Audrey Shepherd just got back from Kennecott and had a fantastic time and saw the Bonanza Mine, a black bear, and amazing clear skies. Probably the black bear almost ate her. She also showed me her pictures of the trip, and the scenery was really pretty. She hiked five miles to the Bonanza Mine. Why was Audrey there? She was filming a documentary about the railroad for her Alaska documentary class.
Audrey loves her dogs. I haven't seen her dogs though. I've only seen pictures and I think her dogs are gorgeous. Audrey Shepherd is a good musher, and she has eight dogs at the moment. She enjoys cold wind on her face while mushing. Audrey enters mushing competitions and has even won four years in a row in the Tonsina race!
Audrey is very smart and does well in her classes. She helps me sometimes with my work while making it amusing by using different voices.
Every day she gives me a hug. She is encouraging. It’s very hard to stay mad at her. Her bubbly personality can warm your heart on a sad day. She is like family and I'm glad Audrey Lee Shepherd is my friend.
My name is Harold. I like to write poems and I also like to learn about World War I and II.
My dream is to become a person who writes poems and travels around the world to see more of it, and to learn how other people live life. One of my best poems that I wrote is as follows:
“Fire is hot and wild and it burns you when you touch it,
but yet I hug the fire and because it’s the only hug I get.”
Things I do in the summer time are rafting and growing plants in the greenhouse, like cabbage and broccoli. Over this summer I've learned even though life is hard, I have to keep moving forward. If I don't I won't succeed in life. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”
I was raised in Alaska. My sisters and I were taken away from our home when I was five and we were moved to different homes. I was told I would be adopted. I was adopted when I was 14.
I proved that I'm smart. For example, I passed my math high school exit exam. I'm working hard to pass my reading and writing exams so I can be a good writer because there is a good writer in everyone - we just have to work hard to find it.