Hometown Heroes: 6 Houses, 5 Years, 1 Boy

Hometown Heroes: Alanna McElweeFreshman year is the year of ultimate change. The thing about change is that you can either let it break you, or you can let it make you. As he entered freshman year he wasn’t aware of the huge changes that were going to occur in his life. Most times we are never aware of these things, we simply have to go with the flow of life.


He wasn’t the type of adolescent that complained, he rarely even talked. His motto was “If it’s not worth wasting my breath for, then why say it?” At age 14 his life would become a roller-coaster that no one could predict.


After making the move into his fathers house in a “white picket fence suburb” he felt unstoppable. He had a big house, lots of new clothes, a new dog, and most importantly he was actually “cool!” Nothing could stop him on his way to the top.


The months rolled by with not a care in the world, until the news came. His father’s partner in their company had been embezzling money for years, and it had finally caught up to him–this meaning, their family would have to move. Being the role model older brother he didn’t have a choice but to accept the fate, and to keep going. He had to set an example for his younger siblings, they were bound to react the way he did. As much as it hurt that he was leaving this new life behind, he forced a smile upon his grief stricken face and pushed forwards.


As they moved into their new home things seemed as if they were getting better. He was still excelling in school, his friends hadn’t left his side and he still had his family to fall back on. Everything looked OK on the outside, but on the inside rage was boiling.


This rage continued to grow when more horrendous news was delivered. Their uncle that had been living with them for some time had been shot and killed. A devastation that would affect a family forever. The young boy was filled with remorse and sorrow, how could someone he looked up to so much be here one second and gone the next? The family had decided once again that they were going to move.


Not only is moving a hard thing to do, but during the most important part of your life, is something no child should have to go through. Through the next 5 years of his life, the boy would move 6 times altogether, never once complaining or arguing about it, but maintaining an ever present smile.


That is why my brother “Buddha” is my hero. He taught me that life can either be great or it can be terrible; depending on your own attitude about situations – Things can only affect you if you let them affect you. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my big brother by my side, pushing me to be a better person everyday of my life.