I owe one person for saving my life, my wife. Don't get me wrong I was never in danger of dying, she didn't perform CPR or anything on me but without her, I'd likely be dead or in jail.
I was about 13 years old when I discovered how much I enjoyed the feeling my fist hitting another person. From that point on I got into a lot of fights. I didn't feel anything for other people at that point in my life, but I do feel bad for some of the things, I guess I never stopped to think that I was hurting people on more than a physical level. Fortunatly fighting lost it's appeal to me after a while not that I completely stopped for a few more years. Sadly I replaced it with other things.
In grade 9 my friend and I thought it would be fun to break into our high school home ec room to cook breakfast, so we did. Sadly I would discover 2 years later that our home ec teacher didn't bother with things like expiry dates, we were lucky we didn't get sick. We did however get caught. The next monday I was called down to the principals office, waiting for me was a nice police officer and Mr Barton, my princpal/hockey coach. Of course I denied denied denied, but they had witnesses, there were 3 people who had seen us going around back of the building and peeked into the room and saw us in there, luckily for me i was a smart ass and knew a few things about the law, I was 15 at the time and it is required by law here for the police to acquire parental permission before interviewing a minor. Constable Pilon neglected to do that. There was also the fact that if I was charged with B&E I would likely not be allowed to play hockey for a while. My coach/principal didnt want his best player out so he was doing all he could to avoid charges as well. Aren't small towns great? The guy was more concerned that we might lose a few meaningless games, than he cared about my future and the crime I commited. The end result was a feeling of invincibility, we could not get caught and even when we did, we'd get away with it, so we started breaking into other businesses and eventually into houses. I'll fully admit I took stuff from the stores that we went into, but I never, never took a single thing from any house that we broke into, it was something we did for the thrill. These actions continued for 2 years.
I then met Kiki, I've never illegally entered another home or business since the day I met her, I had something to lose, but I still didn't see a future for myself so I continued fighting generally not giving a shit about anything to do with my life, I took 7 classes in grade 11 and managed to pass 2, this didn't particularily bother me either, I was going nowhere, I had no future other than working one of the factories back home, so why bother putting any effort in? I was cruising along the highway to nowhere and had no thoughts that I could get on a different road. Slowly but surely I was broken of those thoughts by Kiki, well honestly it was her and her family, I owe everything I have become to those 4 people, I know Kiki will be the only one to ever see this, but Vicki, Chrissy, Peggy and Dan I owe everything to you, I love you all more than I can ever describe.
Vicki and her mother slowly built up my self confidence and made me think maybe I could do something with my life, they helped me get away from my destructive behaviour. Christina was 12 when I started dating Vicki and she made me see that I could make a difference in other people's lives, I was there for her when she started high school, I helped teach her to drive, I helped her through some rough times in her life when friends of hers passed away, legally speaking she may be my sister in law, but in my heart she'll always be my sister. As for her dad, he's gone above and beyond what your girlfriend's father needs to do, he took me under his wing and got me to do stuff with him, simple things like painting the house, installing the woodstove, changing tires on the car etc... but all of those things made me believe in myself, believe that I could do something with my life. I like to believe I have, we may not be rich, we may not have everything we could ever want, but I have everything I could ever want. I have a beautiful wife, who I love more with every passing day and the 2 most wonderful kids ever, I have something to live for and I have them to thank for still having a life to give to them.