This past week has been the worst week in my short 20 years of life.
For those of you who don’t know, on Thursday July 18th I lost my Nana to cancer. It was the worst day of my life. Upon hearing that she had passed, my heart sank. I felt as though part of it had been ripped out, and that my world was coming to an end. I dreaded having to go to her funeral because it meant having to say goodbye.
On the morning of the funeral I sent out a message on Facebook and Twitter, asking for thoughts and prayers to help me get through it. I entered the funeral home and took my seat. I listened as the pastor talked about my Nana, and although he said a lot of encouraging and wonderful things about her, he would never know her like I did. We headed to the cemetery to finish the service and to say our final goodbyes. I watched as they lowered her casket into the ground and my heart sank even more. Our last event of the day was a dinner at our church, and even though I was surrounded by family I still felt alone.
When I finally made it home I went into my room and turned on my computer. I opened up my email and saw an Ecard that some of the Ugly Ducklings had sent me. I began to cry at reading their beautiful messages, and felt like all of my problems had disappeared. It was in that moment I realized although I lost someone, I also gained something as well, and that is a family. The Ugly Ducklings are my family and they have been by my side through this entire ordeal. They have offered more comfort than some of my own family and have even put a smile back on my face.
My advice to those who are going through a tough time in life is that the Ugly Ducklings will help you through it. They are the most wonderful and caring people I have ever met, and cannot believe what they have created based off a tweet that Jennifer Morrison made. Every day I look forward to seeing what new things they are coming up with and I am proud to be a part of this life changing movement. They have helped realized that I am more than a duckling; I am a beautiful Swan, and no matter what life throws at me I will always have a family and will never be alone. I am home.
*Mariah has recently joined the leadership of Ugly Ducklings Inc as the resource assistant. If you’d like to leave her a message of support, please do so by commenting on this post.