Kathryn Galle's Essay Submission
Friend, Sister, Inspiration: Elizabeth Hafner
Have you ever tried to picture how your life may have played out without a certain someone in it? Why is this person so significant in your life?
For me, this special person entered my life when I was only five years young. I was playing with my toys on the kitchen floor as my mother was cooking dinner when she knocked on our back door. I looked at this stranger’s face and, naturally, ran away. As soon as my mother opened the door, however, I was inexplicably drawn to this outsider.
Elizabeth Ashley Hafner was the stranger at my door, but since then has become much more than that. It was not until recently that I realized how much she truly meant to me, and how much she has taught me over the years. Elizabeth may not have reinvented the wheel, however she has had an incredible effect on my life for which I will be forever grateful.
When I was a child, Elizabeth taught me the importance of keeping your word, what it was to be responsible, and how crucial it was to always tell the truth. Although she may not realize it, her examples of promises kept, hard work, and dedication inspired me from a very young age.
As I grew up, Elizabeth’s life became even more of an inspiration for me. She had been independent since the age of 18 by working a full time job, attending school, and still making time for me and others around her. The mere fact that she was able to juggle all of that while enduring the pain from her past is still amazing to me. It would have been so easy for Elizabeth to give up and say things were just too hard, but never once did that cross her mind. She was strong willed and determined to become the best that she was told she could never be.
Another part of Elizabeth’s persona that I find incredible is that she has a way with children that I could never fathom having. She is so patient and selfless that she can and will do anything to make sure each of her students succeed. She is passionate about helping those around her flourish because she never had anyone to push her in her own life.
In my opinion, however, the absolute best and most inspiring part of Elizabeth is her humbleness. With as many lives as she has touched, mine included, I do not think she realizes how much of an effect she has had on the lives of people around her.
She may not have changed the world but she changed my world. For as long as I can remember, she has been there to catch me when I fall and lift me up when I am not strong enough to do so alone. She has been an incredible role model, friend, and sister to me, and if I can become half of what she is, I would die satisfied with my life.