Close to Her Heart – The Giving Keys
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Close to Her Heart

I was given a key by my sister, Hannah. The key read "STRENGTH." This key saved my life. My sister is all that I have in my life. She has taken care of me through good and bad, and has never left my side.

She received a giving key when her best friend passed away by a gun accident. She never let go of this key. I would never touch it or wear it because I knew how much it meant to her. From a young age my sister has always promised me a better life. We grew up on the streets and she wanted better for me. She finally found a way out of the life situation we were given. She studied hard and was accepted into the Merchant Marine academy. She would go to sea for years at a time, but would provide a steady income. She would serve the USA. I could never fathom the thought of her leaving. I knew it was necessary, but I would have nothing when she left. I could not live with this idea. I was devastated. She told me, "This is our ticket out. You have to be strong." She then presented me with the Key that she held so close to her heart. She told me that it was mine now. I wear the Key with the word "STRENGTH" facing towards my body every day that she is out to sea. I wear the key with the word "Strength" facing other people when she is home. I have done this for three years. This Key will get me through the hard times, until I pay it forward to someone who needs it more then I do.


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