Suffering is the one thing that every human being on the face of this planet has in common. Every person faces troubles as they make their journey through life, and each person handles those troubles differently. I believe that it’s the ability to endure and persevere through the adversities with great strength, and the ability to learn from these challenges that constitutes a true survivor. One group in particular that faces much adversity day in and day out, is the homeless. Each day is a constant struggle to overcome. The book, I Have Arrived Before My Words by Deborah Pugh, is a compilation of autobiographical writings from five homeless women in the Washington D.C. area. “They range in age from their twenties to their fifties. Four of them are black, one is white; two have drug problems; two have been in prison; three are mothers;…two have problems with mental illness; one is disabled; four were victims of sexual abuse...”(Pugh viii). All of these women have incredible memoirs, and the stories are profoundly affecting. In the praise section for the book, Judy Leaver, the Vice President of the National Mental Health Association says, “The courage of these women is humbling and their survival heroic.” Judy Leaver ma
Webster"tms Dictionary defines it as "continuing to live or exist"(417), but I feel that this particular definition barely scratches the surface. This incredible woman gave birth to her son in the back seat of a taxi cab, "Without the assistance of medical staff or drugs"(Pugh 174). She had to persevere through so many horrid things throughout her life that I was inspired to thank God that I can be so fortunate in comparison to her. She announces to the reader "I have"courage to endure (Pugh157). While she was in danger of losing her apartment and didn"tmt want to rely on the support of her children, she went ahead and applied for public housing, which had a three-year waiting list. As a whole they have physically survived, Aids, cancer, gunshots, beatings, abuse, disablement, and much more. Indeed, writing may be a chief survival skill"(qtd. She used this event as an, "Icon of survival and pride"(Pugh 174), for herself. More specifically, the word survivor could have countless different meanings. In her essay she told the reader about being sexually abused, neglected, pregnant at sixteen, parental divorce, breast cancer, hospitalizing radiation burns, raising two kids as a single mother, and not to mention being homeless. Angie possesses all of these things. Leaver"tms declaration that the women of I Have Arrived Before My Words are survivors. Each word in the English language has a different meaning for each person perceiving it.