I've been through a lot in the last couple of years. I lost my boyfriend to a drunk driving accident during my freshman year. We had been together for almost a year and had been best friends for two years prior.
He was two years older than me, but it didn't matter to either of us. We had that connection you only get once in your life if you are lucky. We had planned on going to college together and then traveling the world; me writing and him photographing.
My life was changed when he got T-boned on the way to the airport to pick me up and died instantly.
For a while I blamed myself. Always thinking, "If I hadn't asked him to get me, this wouldn't have happened". I beat myself up and distanced myself from everyone. I slipped into depression and it became a serious issue.
Christmas day my mother pulled me aside after we had all unwrapped our presents and she handed me a little bag. She said she didn't know what was going on with me but she had seen this in a window and thought that I needed this now more than ever. I opened the bag and it was a Giving Key that said one word: Strength.
She said she knew I was going through something that no one should have to but she was proud of me and even though I had been so strong this far, everyone could use a reminder of how strong they actually are. Eventually my depression lessened and I returned to my usual self.
Then, my uncle passed away this past November. I slipped back into the depression and returned to how I had been, but this time it was even more severe. This Christmas I received another key. This time it said: Breathe. This key came at a time when I was questioning why I kept going through so much. I knew I had been strong but why was I doing this to myself?
Every time I look at this new key it serves as a reminder to keep breathing even though life can be difficult - but each breath is a victory. As long as I have people who care and support me, I will continue to breathe for them and myself.