This I Believe

Nathan - 15236, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Title: This I Believe: Strength in Family

I believe in the importance and strength of family. Ever since I can remember, my mother and father have instilled in me the importance of family. Not so much my dad’s side because they were the, you know, the ‘weird side,’ but my mom’s side. My mom’s side was the typical perfect family. I mean perfect. When there was a family function everyone was there. We did everything together: birthdays, graduations, and holidays were a must. Any and every reason to get the family together we used it. My grandma was the perfect cook, and grandpa made sure everyone’s glasses were full.

Christmas’s topped all other celebrations in our family. Grandma would serve dinner for approximately 30 to 40 relatives and friends on a table that would go in one room and wrap around to the next. It seemed like a law that the feast could not start until grandpa said the opening prayer and three or four of the moms cried. Food would only be passed in a clockwise order and would surface from one room to the next, and if you wanted anything, yelling was your only option. That table later got the name “damn table.” I can vividly remember being bad one Christmas, at the age of 8, and grandma sitting on me until I behaved. That was my grandma’s solution instead of the spoon. Nathan’s fighting- sit on him; Nathan’s talked back- sit on him; Nathan’s upset- sit on him to make him laugh. Grandma had the solution to make anything better.

Christmas at Grandma’s house have come and gone, and Christmas has now been passed on to my house. My mom seems to have a fit with it every year, to the point where she ends up crying every year. Mom doesn’t cry because things go wrong, she cries because that’s how women in the Fohr family deal with stress. I think back, and boy, grandma made it look so easy. Things have changed. My older cousin, nicknamed little David, isn’t so little any more, and he has two beautiful kids, grandma’s hand shakes sometimes, grandpa can’t hear or see, and I’m graduating college.

Looking back, I now realize I have had the most supportive family anyone could ever ask for. They have disciplined me when I needed it, celebrated me when I earned it, and poked fun at me when I deserved it. Yes, times have changed in the Fohr family, but the one thing that has always been a constant in my life has been my family. This I Believe: Strength in Family.