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On April 19, 2015, I celebrated my father’s birthday. He would have been 56 years old, but he passed away six years ago.

When he passed, I was filled with so many emotions. I couldn’t understand why this had to happen. Why did God take my best friend away from me? I can remember being at the funeral home with my friends crowded around trying to console me. They kept telling me that God doesn’t make any mistakes and that everything happens for a reason. At the time, I didn’t want to hear them. I just wanted my dad back. I appreciated my friends trying to console me but they really couldn’t understand what I was going through.

After my father died, I struggled with my faith. This was by far the hardest thing I had ever gone through. There were so many days where I would give anything just to see him again. Withdrawn and alone, I didn’t want to face reality. One day, I found myself sitting in my room crying. As I looked on my desk, I saw a journal so I opened it up and poured out all of my emotions. Writing really helped to ease my pain; it allowed me to think about what had happened. Looking back, I never really knew how sick my father really was. As a way of shielding me, he kept his sickness a secret.

I was happy to know that my father was no longer in pain, but that did not make my pain go away. What do I do since I had lost my best friend? I figured why not turn this tragedy into triumph? There was a sermon that I heard that talked about turning your hardships into championships. This powerful message would change my perspective on life. When life hands you lemons, why not just make lemonade? So why don’t I take this experience and turn it into something positive?

Publishing a book of poetry was always a dream of mine. There were several poems that I had written that were very dear to me. A lot of the poems that I wrote brought closure and helped me to cope with my loss. So I compiled all of my poems and began working on a book; which is entitled, “Through It All, I’m Going to Make It.” The book takes you through a journey of life’s ups and downs. The book provides hope and inspiration for those who are going through a lot in life. I wanted to show others that no matter what you are going through, you can make it because God is on your side. The finished work was dedicated to my dad. Here are a few lines from a poem that is entitled “My Best Friend” What an awesome being, you reign supreme, You and I, we make the perfect team, My best friend, my confidant-only you can I depend, I know that no matter what you’ll be with me from beginning to end.

There were so many lessons that I learned when my dad passed. Losing my dad taught me to never take people for granted because you never know when God may call them home. I wished I had of told my dad how much I loved him. Sometimes we can spend so much time with a person and we never really tell them how much they mean to us. Spending time with family and friends is very important to me now. Telling them how much they mean to me is also very important. I also treat every encounter with people as if it is the last. To this day, if I ever have a disagreement with anyone I make sure that it is resolved. It would be awful to argue with someone and then never get a chance to settle our differences. This practice has definitely strengthened my relationships over the last six years. I now make every moment count.

Secondly, I learned to make the best out of every situation. I could have coped with my father’s death it in a completely different way. However, I chose to cope by writing a book of poetry to inspire others who were going through the same thing. I chose to pursue my dream and make my dad proud. I learned to turn my tragedy into triumph.

Lastly, I learned to let God have total control of my life. After my dad died, I didn’t want to live but God saw fit to come in and ease my pain. God was with me every step of the way. I would pray to God everyday to help me get through this. And you know the more I prayed, the stronger I got. I had to realize that God will not put more on you than you can bear. It was God that got me through that. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13 which states, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can get through anything with God on my side. I give Him all the glory and all the praise because He never left me throughout my pain. I learned that if you trust and believe in Him then you can make it through anything.

When I See You Again

By: Patrice D. Wilkerson

The death of a loved one is so hard to bear
I lost my best friend and we were the perfect pair
I can’t even count the tears that I have shed
Memories of the good times constantly run through my head
Your smile is what I remember the most
And you had a heart that stretched from coast to coast
It’s hard to carry on without you by my side
I must say this has been such a lonely ride
But at the end of the tunnel there is always light
And I know we will be together when the time is right
Until then, I will anxiously await the chance to see you again
So we can pick up where we left off my dear friend

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Patrice D. Wilkerson is a MBA graduate who loves writing poetry. She has been writing poetry since she was 8 year’s old and loves to inspire others through words. She’s written a collection of poetry entitled, Through It All, I’m Going to Make It in which she published in 2010.