This I Believe

Angela - Houston, Texas
Entered on April 27, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude

I believe in a family that supports all members all the time. I have two sisters and two brothers, and I am the second youngest of the bunch. My younger sister and I are the only ones left at home due to my brothers and sisters already graduating college. Our family is always getting bigger with my siblings being married and having children.

It was last May and like millions of other seniors across the country, I was getting ready for graduation. I was so ready to graduate high school. May was such a busy month for me, with sports, friends, going to parties, and finishing the school year. I was either rushing around looking for a prom dress, cramming for the latest test, or hanging out with my friends, but I started to neglect my family. It wasn’t on purpose; I just wanted to spend time with the friends I would soon leave. Finally, the week of graduation came around and I realized that the people I wanted the most at my graduation were the people I had spent time with the least.

All of a sudden I was nervous that some of my family wouldn’t show. There is nothing normal or easy about my family of seven. My sister who had my two nephews was a little flaky, and unless you call and remind her a million times to be somewhere, she usually isn’t. One of my brothers was going through a difficult time trying to get full custody of his son, and I did not want coming to my graduation to become another burden he had to deal with. My other brother was about to graduate college, and high school graduation seemed like nothing. I realized that most of my family all had more important things to do than come to my high school graduation.

Graduation day came and my parents, little sister, and one of my brothers drove me to the gym. I was more nervous about the rest of my family showing up than actually walking across the stage. I wondered how I would react if the rest of the family didn’t show up.

The graduation started and as we walked out of the door, I searched for my family. When I looked, I saw everyone in my family. I saw my nephews fighting, my sister and mom arguing about where we should eat afterwards, my dad nervously searching the crowd for me, but that was not the point. I saw every single member of my family sitting out in the audience, here to see me graduate.

The feeling I felt that day was pure bliss. It was as though my family was in slow motion for almost two hours. Even though everyone had their own issues that needed to be dealt with, they took time to come see me graduate. They had every right to not show up because of the way I had neglected them that month, but without me saying, they knew how important this was to me. That is what family is for. They understand the unspoken. They support each other no matter what. I love my family so much, and nothing I go through in life would be as special without them.