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FAMILY HERO:
JONEICE
by Kia

My heroine is my older sister by two years. She saved us when were just kids. My parents were always into their own thing whether it be drugs or straight self-guilt. Nevertheless, Joneice always took care of me. I was only five when I came to realize that I depended on her for everything. She was a seven-year-old wonder. Joneice took care of me and my two younger siblings.


If you are wondering how a seven-year-old child did such a thing, believe me it is possible. Joneice and I lived in the projects along with every other living thing at the bottom of the barrel called life. Joneice would make sure I went to class, and she would iron my clothes (even though she sometimes burned holes in them). The child even cooked. She knew how to use a kitchen knife, run our bath water, and at nights when my father did not come home, she put me to sleep. The young girl was smart; on nights when my father did not come home, Joneice would lock up the small apartment and have us sleep with hammers besides us, just in case. It may not sound heroic, but believe me, I always felt safe with her.

Life in the ghetto was no blessing; in fact, it was a day-to-day struggle with reality at an early age, watching my father beat his live-in girlfriend, seeing my mother do drugs, dealing with older kids bullying my sister and me. Trust me, the girl never turned down a fight either, if anyone dared made me cry. She was my peacemaker from teachers to kids, fighting everyday on the way home to avoid my being hurt; it makes me cry just to type it out.

My sister has always been there for me. At the age of seven, she knew that the ghetto was no place for a child. She called my grandmother and asked for Auntie's number (she lived a few hours away). Once she reached her, Joneice asked if we could come live with her because it was not safe for us where we lived. She always thinks of me to this day.

Joneice will always be my heroine and no person or thing can replace her. She gave me the car that she worked very hard to save for and get once she went away to college on a scholarship. Now that she has completed college, she is helping me through college. She will make something out of the both of us.


Written by Kia
Photos courtesy of Douglas Miller of Laguna Beach, California
Images created by Douglas Miller of Laguna Beach, California
Last changed on: 9/21/2016 2:43:05 PM

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