Despite knowing my mother was sick and would not live forever, I allowed myself to believe she'd make it until graduation, as she'd outlived the initial diagnosis. I was not ready to take her to the hospital the day Thanksgiving Break started to be left without her all break, and spend simply one day with her at home before her passing. I pushed past the grief, picked up my broken heart, and walked right back into school to finish my senior year and begin my time at college. When the same happened with my grandmother, I learned that short of my own death, nothing would prevent me from pursuing the education they'd pushed me for. If anything, the one reason I can always rely upon when times get tough and I want to drop out is the fact that I broke all the barriers they wanted.