What Makes Me…Samantha Lee

I would say, I live my life simple. We all try to right? I mean, who wants to live a complicated life anyway? I am an optimist, but not one of those annoying kinds. I’m one of those 20 something-year-olds who have overcome obstacles some people rarely have to face. I really feel as if you are truly not living if you are always in a negative state of mind, but here is why I believe this.

I’ve always been a happy kid. My sister and I grew up VERY family oriented, VERY close to cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We were taught to enjoy the memories in life we were making. I, however, didn’t know that at the time. I was young and well honestly, I didn’t pay attention to those things!

I am a New Yorker at heart, but moved to South Carolina in the middle of the eighth grade. This isn’t where life throws me some serious curve balls, because my optimistic self was like “oh my gosh, how cool, a new school, new friends, this could be fun!” And…it was

Yet with all the opportunity and excitement, my family faced tragedy. Experiencing death may be one of the hardest obstacles that I have had to overcome. Experiencing it four times, well, it is sometimes unimaginable.

At the end of the year (2004 when we had moved), we heard news that Steven, my cousin, who was in the military at the age of twenty-four was hit by a drunk driver and passed away on impact. Six months later, Shawn, his younger brother, was found unconscious in the bathtub at the age of eighteen. Shawn was in a coma for a short period of time before passing away from a brain tumor. It was then when my family realized life is too short to be anything but thankful and happy for what we work hard for everyday. However, we would still face more hardship.

In 2011, Barbara, mother of both boys, and my wonderful Godmother, was misdiagnosed. It was too far gone and the chemo treatment wasn’t helping as her metastatic cancer spread to her heart, lungs, and spine. Prior to her death we traveled to New York and I sat with her one last time and listened to her tell me to make sure I follow my dreams no matter how hard it may be. She was in good spirits when she passed a week later and unfortunately I was unable to go to her funeral since I had just traveled to see her, missing too much of college. Her death and lack of closure upset me greatly which manifested in my school work for many of my classes. Starting at a young age, I had to learn to overcome tragedy and loss and understand how to push myself to persevere. This strength has helped me climb some of the hardest mountains.

It is now 2016, everything’s all good and dandy, I know what loss is and I’m now living a glass is half full kinda life, right? Wrong. My fiancé leaves for deployment with the marines and two days later my uncle (same side of the family, all my father’s side) died of a massive heart attack. Let me just go back a minute and say, he was at the hospital THE NIGHT BEFORE. We have a large family history of heart disease on my father’s side. Instead of keeping him overnight (which they should have) they sent him home and 6 hours later, collapsed on the ground, my 21 year old cousin giving him CPR, but he was already too far gone, he had left us the moment he collapsed. It was unreal, heart breaking, and pure anger boiled through my blood.

But Sam, you’re an optimist?! Well, listen here, Linda. I love to THINK of myself as an optimist, but every person in the world gets a little angry and upset sometimes, BUT THAT’S OKAY! The optimist comes out in me and tells me, Samantha, I know this is hard, but you know you’re not supposed to dwell over this for long. Steven, Shawn, Aunt Barb, and Uncle Nick…they know you’re stronger than this. So again I take these experiences and learn from the curve balls I am faced in life.


I happen to be in the medical field, if you can’t tell why by now, my family tragedies as a kid pushed me right into the field that was meant for me and I continue to love it as a growing young woman. I love where I am in life and I would never call these unfortunate happenings, setbacks, but instead, learning experiences through life.

When I was brainstorming about my blog I knew that I wanted to bring readers who may have had a bad day, a peace of mind, a laugh, or even just a simple smile. Just like in the medical field, I am always helping others. I want to continue helping others, but in a different outlet, through my blog! I hope you can find the good in today no matter what you may be facing. Always remember, someone else out there may be having a much worse day than you. Stay strong, try to find ONE positive thing in your life and work through it, because you CAN do this!

As Always,