As the summer holidays finish, YHM gives you something else to celebrate: life! Despite obstacles, these two women have found ways to enjoy their lives and inspire us to push forward.
Twelve years ago, Aggie Carney’s husband of 18 years left her for his girlfriend and son, leaving her to take care of five children on her own.
“I had to work 5 jobs, 70 hours a week for the first 2 years, without a day off,” said Carney.For years, she struggled, but found support at her local church. “Families got together and helped me pay off my mortgage and van payments so I could go to school and get better job,” Carney said. She now finds strength by volunteering for a recovery program and for a young women’s Sunday school class. “I want to come alongside them and help them try to think through life’s choices,” said Carney
My biggest pride comes from my family and my culture
Juliana Odame-Labi, 18, also finds joy in life despite a rough past. When she was 8 she moved here from her hometown in Ghana. “I didn’t know the language or what anybody was saying and I got bullied a lot for being that dark girl with the weird accent,” said Odame-Labi.
Odame-Labi struggled through ESL and speech classes all through elementary school. She learned to loved reading and writing and even experimented in writing a couple of novels. Most of her stories are about girls having to deal with new situations like she had to.
“For a long time I felt shame to being who I was and I just wished I could be like everybody else. I realized that I should always be proud to be Ghanaian. My biggest pride comes from my family and my culture,” said Odame- Labi.
The stories of the two different people from two different walks of life inspires us to celebrate life regardless of its hurts, hang ups, and hardships. It’s worth it!
By Ijeoma Unachukwu