I was 16, my father had left our family 2 years ago, not a day went by that I didn't grieve for him...still do. Mom had to go back to work full time to provide insurance for our family. She had always been a stay at home mom, so it was a shock to have her return to the workforce. My brothers were suffering and feeling very much unloved and depressed. This was a difficult time for us, we didn't get along very well, even though we loved each other and knew we had to stick together. We were always in trouble for fighting with each other and for our sinking grades. Our well-meaning relatives would give us a hard time and tell us how "bad" we were for being difficult for my Mom...who of course was probably suffering even more than we were! It seemed like everything was my fault...maybe if I would have been a better daughter, maybe Dad wouldn't have left, or if I could just control my temper and not argue with my brothers or get better grades, maybe Mom wouldn't be so sad all the time, if I could just figure out a way to "fix" things, life could be better. One evening, I had to go to the store. As I entered, a little girl ran toward me smiling as if she had been waiting to greet me. She had the prettiest blue eyes and the sweetest smile, she also had Down Syndrome. She said joyfully, "I like you!! You are good, I can tell!" She wrapped her arms around my waist embracing me, shocked, I whispered, "I like you too." Then she quickly waved goodbye and ran over to the gumball machines. I realized that was the first positive thing I had heard in a long time. I knew that God had created that little angel to share His love on this weary earth. Every soul has a purpose and each life is so very, very precious. I wish I could have told her parents how she touched my heart. It really was a life changing/defining moment that I will never forget. She made me think that maybe I wasn't as bad as I or others thought, perhaps God had plans for me after all. I started to think about graduating and applying myself, being more helpful at home and to try harder to accept the life I had been given, and to try and find things to be thankful for...starting with that little girl's beautiful innocence.