At the beginning of 1986, my childhood was one that many would consider typical. This included seeing my brother off to school in the morning and playing in the babysitter's backyard in the afternoon. Life was pretty innocent. On January 28, 1986, I realized the world could be a very painful place.
I don't really remember where I was when we lost the Challenger. I do remember the emotional reactions of all the grown-ups around me and the continuous news coverage. Newspapers ran cover stories about the shuttle disaster for months. Diagrams and experts tried to explain it to the public. All I knew was that something could happen that was so bad that it made everyone in the country sad.
Chernobyl followed soon after, then a lot of family difficulty and then I started school. Life's difficulties and unexplainable complications continue still, 25 years later.
Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain.