|I grew up in a single parent home. I lived with my mother and my sister, in a low income housing project. My father was totally out of my life by the time I was nine years old. When I was about thirteen, my mother developed health problems and had to go on public assistance. Through it all, mom made me attend church with her.
It was a small church, the kind where everyone knew everyone else. I came to know two brothers, both in thier late twenties. They owned a butcher shop and a meat packing plant, together with thier older brother. I was about forteen when the brothers, knowing that my mother was barely making ends meet, asked me if I would like to come to work for them, after school.
In retrospect, I now know that the decision that I was about to make was the most monumental and momentous decision of my life. The three men along with thier two younger brothers, took me into thier family as an adopted brother. The actions of these five men shaped the rest of my life. They provided a role model for me, something that I was sadly lacking.
I worked for thse men for four years, during that time they took a poor aimless teenager from the projects and made a man of him They made me a part of thier lives and opened thier families to me. A gift that has lasted a lifetime.They were my big brothers and my mentors.
I ultimately became a successful business man on my own. I had a great family with four wonderful children, owned several vehicles, a big house and several rental properties.
The one thing that they couldn't help me with,hit me when I was forty five years old. my life began to spin out of control. I wasn't myself any longer, I was losing everything and the worse part of it was that I didn't care about anything anymore. I had lost all of my hopes and dreams. I divorced my wife and just faded away from everything I built and everyone I loved.
Over the past five years I hit rock bottm. One day last year, I woke up in the bushes where I'd slept for the past month, reached into my pocket, only to find nine dollars and forty eight cents. It dawned on me then, that this was what my life was worth - a couple bags of ratty clothes and $9.48. A nd I knew within me that I wasbetter than that.
That day was aturning point in my life. I am now under professional care. The trip back will be long and hard,but, one day, I will be on top again. I will again have tha ability to dream and be able to make those dreams come true. I just take one day at a time.