Tattoos on the Heart By lauren kemp

My favorite story from the introduction is when Ramiro who came in with F**K THE WORLD tattooed on his forehead asking why he couldn't get a job. It makes you wonder why anyone would get/ have this tattoo especially if you were looking for a job. Too often, we wear our emotions on our sleeves and don't hold anything back. I liked this story because it showed that we may regret pouring out our minds to everyone around us. Not everything that we say/do (or tattoo on our foreheads) needs to be shared with the rest of the world.

My favorite story from chapter one, God , I guess, is when Bill is taking care of his ailing father. Bill would read to his father every night so he could fall asleep even though he would open his eyes just to look at his son. Bill's father was proud of his son just like our parents are proud of us. We sometimes get so wrapped up in school or whatever else we have going on that we forget to appreciate all that our loved ones have done for us. In those little moments Bill realized that he truly loved his father and that's what we should feel anytime we are around our family, love.

My favorite story from chapter two, Dis-Grace, is the one about Lula who is a little mentally slower than the rest of us but that doesn't stop him. It makes him happy when he gets attention or gets a simple question right for the grand prize of five dollars. I like this because it tells me that I need to notice the little things in life. It shows me that it's not the big feats what we accomplish that matter the most. For Lula and for us, we should live to enjoy the precious and irreplaceable moments.

My favorite story from chapter three, Compassion, is the story of Betito. He was such a young boy who died so early. Father G and Betito always told each other that they were the "real deal". I like this story because it shows how the thing most precious to us, our life, could be ripped from us so easily. You never know when you could lose someone or something close to you and it shows me that every moment counts and that I should never take anyone or anything for granted.

My favorite story from chapter four, Pil, Water, Flams, is the story of Jose Lopez who wanted to be "a baptist" (baptized). Father G was baptizing him when he told Jose that his older brother had just died last night. Jose doesn't react with revenge or anger. I like this story for just that reason. Every time that we hear something we don't like we shouldn't lash out, we should be at peace and know that the Lord will be there with us every step of the way. He will always be there to guide and nurture us.

My favorite story from chapter five, Slow Work, is the story of Joey who is about to become a father. He knows that being a father will change his life and he wants to be able to provide for his child. I like this story because it shows that a parent would do anything, even getting a job at Chuck E Cheese, to make a good life for their son or daughter. I'm very grateful to have two parents who would do the same thing for me. They are the people who I can rely on for everything and Joey knows that he will have to be the support system for his child.

My favorite story from chapter six, Jursidiction, is the story of Richie and Chepe who go to lunch with Father G. They felt like they didn't belong but after their waiter eventually made them feel welcomed. I like this story because lots of times I don't feel welcomed either. In this day and age there are so many cliques and groups that it is often hard to find your place. However, once we do it is easy to be ourselves.

My favorite story from chapter seven, Gladness, is the story of Moreno. He is this boy who doesn't like anything but biology (he thinks it's the BOOOOOMB)! I like this story because it says that once we find something that we are passionate about, nothing can stop us. When we finally find something that we are determined to do and get right, that something becomes the our focus. Whether it be school, family, or our faith, nothing can hold us back from reaching that goal. Whatever we set our mind to is what we will strive to accomplish.

My favorite story from chapter eight, Success, is the story of Manny. He is the first person in his family to go to college and he is really proud of himself, as he should be. I like his story because it shows that just because others have failed before you, there always needs to be a first. No goal is too out of reach. If you are destermined, you can reach anything that you strive for.

My favorite story from chapter nine, Kinship, is the story of P-Nut who has an interesting perspective on the cause of Father G's leukemia. He thinks that his white blood count is high because he is white. I like this story because sometimes we just to need to look at a situation from a different perspective. Not all situations need to be taken the same way or looked at a certain way. Sometimes we need to change the way we look at something to realize it's full potential.

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