Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Writing to survive

Amelia Coonrod

Amelia Coonrod

I weighed two pounds, one ounce when I was born. I was born three months premature. My hand wrapped around onethird of my mother’s pinkie. Both my lungs burst on the first day. At age nine, doctors cut, untwisted, and pinned my femurs. I had to relearn to walk twice. I have Cerebral Palsy. I am a survivor.

Writing has gotten me through many of the tough times. It has been my oxygen; it has been the gulp of air to clear my head. Writing has been my escape since I was young. I remember having a Secret Garden diary that locked with a miniature key. I filled it with childhood dreams of living behind a waterfall with mysterious people named Fern and Cypress. My early stories were ones that moms would put on their refrigerators. However, as I grew older my stories began to lack that childhood innocence, and they became more focused on what I was feeling and going through.

There were times when I felt lost or hurt, and writing helped; the time when the little boy loudly asked his mother, “Why does she walk funny?” the time I was chosen last for kickball, and the time a classmate intentionally pelted me in dodgeball, knowing I couldn’t move quickly. I have learned the things we face and the choices we make shape our lives forever.

Today, I am a sixteen year old girl who grew up in St. Matthews and went to Calhoun Academy. Now I attend a girls’ boarding school in Winston Salem, N.C. I chose to leave home two years early to prove to people, but mainly myself, that I could handle it. However, more than that I wanted to prove to people that I could make it through life without holding someone’s hand every step of the way.

The tricky part of my life has been staying on the right path and having the strength to overcome all the bumps in the road.

We all face difficult obstacles in our lives. It is the way we react to these obstacles that make us realize whether we possess the strength to be survivors.

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