Life Story Of Regina Calcaterra's 'Etched In Sand'

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Etched in Sand describes the life story of Regina Calcaterra and how she survived abuse and neglect during her life. Regina and her four siblings did not have a normal childhood because they experienced abuse and homelessness as their mother self-medicated with alcohol and spent more time away from home with her boyfriends than she did looking after her own children. Cherie, Camille, Regina, Norman, and Rosie raised themselves and had to resort to all sorts of extreme measures to take care of themselves. Their mother Cookie, a woman who had five children by five different fathers, was a “force of nature”, who upturned their life several times. A woman who was in and out of their lives as they bounced from house to house to being homelessness …show more content…
After all she experienced growing up, Regina decides to dedicate her life to public policy because she wants to help children that are experiencing what she went through. She saw what her mother did with the money that was suppose to help her and the other siblings and wanted to make a change about that. Regina notes that her childhood made her very aware of how people in power can impact the lives of others and this knowledge helped lead her to her present day career in public service. Her account is changing the way we view abandoned children and helping to inspire the idea of “forever families”, providing permanent, non-legal relationships for youth aging out of foster care. Even though this happened many years ago and different laws/rules were in action for this situation, these kind of things still happen in today’s society. We may not hear about any of these horrible situations on the news or in the newspapers but it can be kept a secret just like Regina’s …show more content…
Throughout their journey, many individuals which included; teachers, parents and social workers attempted to help remove the children from this situation. The social workers, foster parents and teachers tried to help Regina and her siblings. Regina always pushed away anyone that was trying to help her, therefore it is difficult to say if she was critical of them or not. These teachers cannot help children that live on the fringe like her because the family traveled from place to place. This meant that the teachers, social workers and foster parents had no time to actually “do” anything. They never had the opportunity to get close to Regina and any of her siblings to really know what was happening. Everyday, Regina woke up with a positive attitude, always looking for ways to help her siblings. Regina mentioned “On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle” (Calcaterra 223). Regina saying this shows her determination by not letting that feeling of endless darkness shut her down. Instead she puts one foot in front of the other and goes on with her day. This also shows her calmness as she chooses to remind herself of this thought and remaining calm,

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