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Brown, now 30, recalled the night she tried to take her life by

drowning herself. Brown sped down a road in her car “just to escape the mundane -- the hurt, the pain of life. I closed my eyes, put my foot on the pedal and I drove towards the bayou.”

She chuckles at what happened next – and saved her life. “I didn’t know there was a tree smack dead in front of the bayou.” Reflecting on the wreck, she now sees it as an “edge kind of experi- ence, where you’re just over the edge, kind of fighting to get where you want to go, and God is saying, ‘No, you cannot go.’ “So when I think about the bayou experience – what happened and what really went on – it was really, really close. Looking back over it, it was really crazy. But sometimes you feel like there’s no other hope, no other way.” The near-tragedy, however, was also a turning point; the edge of an old life and the beginning of hope. Brown’s childhood years were fraught with many of the traps

common to growing up urban and in poverty.

“I grew up in not-as-good of a situation,” she explained. “I fought to get out and moved out on my own. Then I had so many high and low points in my life where I was able to work it out and go to school, but then I ended up falling back down, not able to go to school. “It was drug addiction. I would rise up and kind of overcome drug addiction, and then, once again, something would happen – I guess they call them triggers in life – where it would be a trigger, and I would fall back down to drug addiction.” Later, she broke her addiction to cocaine in a parking-lot experience with God, and she began the search for a future for herself and her two sons, Averen and Jamarius. The road to hope wasn’t instant or easy. She still battled feelings of depression and low self-worth, leading her to that fateful night at the bayou.

[Continued on page 43]

It was her children, Averen and Jamarius, who inspired Vanessa Brown to change her lifestyle. She realized that if she couldn’t take care of herself, then she wouldn’t be able to care for her boys, and she wanted her children’s future to be bright.

40 Buckner Today • SUMMER 2015 ISSUE

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