In May this year, the Baltimore riots were in full action right where I go to grad school at the University of Maryland School of Social work. I wasn't in the building for more than 10 minutes before we were told to leave and go home for our safety. As I was walking out the door, my friend Denise, who has been there for me in my darkest and hardest times, handed me something and said, I got this for you. I took it and hurried with a thousand other students to leave the city. I opened it to find my giving key bracelet saying, FEARLESS. A couple months earlier, on March 6th, my boyfriend, soulmate, best friend, true love, passed away from a heroin overdose. My world was ruined. He was everything I wanted and hoped for in a partner. We planned on spending the rest of our lives together, getting married and having kids. We were planning on moving in together June 1st. Our love was something that I don't think most people get to experience in a lifetime, and I believe it was a once in a lifetime love. Almost to the day a year prior, I was admitted to the hospital and wouldn't leave for 30 days because of a Crohn's Disease flare up that compromised my mind and body in a way I never thought I would experience. At the time, it was the second scariest and hardest time in my life, where I had to fight to live and thrive everyday. Receiving the FEARLESS bracelet brought me to tears because I know I am brave and a fighter and a survivor, because I have to be. There isn't another option. But sometimes I forget how fearless I am and how a lot of people are, to continue on not only with their lives, but make the world a better place. Denise has had many hardships of her own and I admire who she is because of that. My FEARLESS key, could not have come from a better person.
November 24, 2015