This essay is at 571 words. It needs to be edited to fit the requirement (approximately 300-500 words). I could also use other opinions for improvements.
Please submit an essay (approximately 300-500 words) about an event, interest, experience, goal or person in your life which will tell us something about you that we will not learn from your grades, scores or recommendations. The admissions committee will review this essay with regard to content, style and grammar.
I slept beside her, watching her, making sure she was still breathing. I felt her movement as seizures came one after another. I listened to her cry when she thought I was sleeping. My mother, the only parent I have, dying.
I grew up in a single-parent home, and no, we did not have as much as most of my friends from a traditional home, but what we had was enough. I could say that my mom raised me alone, but the truth is that I have a very supportive extended family consisting of grandparents, and for twelve years, a wonderful great grand mother. My mother and I spent a great deal of time with other family members, especially my grandparents and great grandmother. My grandfather served as my male role model and filled a void from not having a father figure. My great grandmother was a gentle nurturer that always watched out for my well being.
As I was growing up, my mother was the exemplification of what I believe a woman should be: strong, self reliant, compassionate, and graceful. She knew she had to be an exceptional role model to me because I did not have a dad to learn from. She told me things like, "you do not have to become a statistic just because you are from a single-parent household" and "you do not have to be what society expects you to be." My mother began instilling these beliefs in me at a young age, so I grew up knowing them as truth.
When I was thirteen, my mother became profoundly ill and the life that I knew changed without warning.
For months, we had no idea what was wrong with her. There were countless visits to different doctors, specialists, and hospitals. None of them could diagnose what was wrong. As the months went by, my mother grew worse. She never said anything negative around me, but I knew exactly what was going on. No matter how hard my mother fought, she had no control over her outcome, live or die. I hated to see her like that. She grew weaker and eventually became completely helpless. She was unable to take care of herself; she was unable to take care of me. I had to assume the role of caregiver, nurturer, and essentially mother to my own mother. I was never resentful; I was ready to give back. For nearly two years I took care of her as she had always taken care of me. Eventually she started improving and after a couple of surgeries and a long recovery, my mom pulled through. Her diagnosis was a compilation of many things, a chain of illnesses, one triggering the next. I am happy to say that she is doing well today.
Being in a single-parent family is sometimes challenging, but it will never be an excuse. Society dictates that broken homes and single parenthood, especially homes without father figures, creates girls with loose morality, low self esteem, and a life predestined to fail. I do not believe that I have a pre-set destiny due to the size of my family. Growing up in a strong family, as small as it is, has given me a sense of selflessness, belonging, and self worth that I will always take with me. Ultimately, I am in control of my own destiny and will take full responsibility for whatever it may bring.