This I Believe

Selja - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on June 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, love, setbacks

Cloudy Days, Sunny Weeks

“Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds”

-Gordon B. Hinckley

I believe that we need all the struggles and cloudy days in our lives, just like we need the sunny, warm days that keep us happy and hopeful.

My parents divorced about two years ago. It was not anything that I or any of my brothers and sisters had expected to happen. My life started to clutter together in a big mess of confusion, because of a decision that would make both of my parents happier in ways that would never make sense to me. It struck me like an arrow in the heart, quickly, painfully. They called the whole family together in the living room, and announced their decision regarding the future of our family. I sensed that something was wrong, before their announcement. It was apparent in the way my parents interacted with each other. They seemed so awkward. I did not see sparks of affection and love anymore, just confusion and dislike.

We tried family counseling for weeks. More emptiness and terror entered our family as a result. It seemed like my mother and father were not making any effort to make their relationship work again. My siblings and I tried to mend and work on our relationships over time. We gave it our all, nothing but our best. I prayed, hoped more than I ever have, but I failed in trying to help my family find happiness again.

After no hope was left in me, I understood something that was true. I understood that our family can be together forever. Nothing can break that bond that was once made. I finally had found the sunshine. Slowly, a few rays of sun caught my eye after the cloudy days.

Through that tragic change, my family has grown very close. My parents are both happy living their own separate lives, while still connected to their children. I now keep in touch with all my siblings and go to my brother’s house for family gatherings. We play games, catch up on one another’s lives and enjoy our strengthened resolve to be there for each other.

When I think back, I am so grateful that I had all those cloudy days. I am grateful for the experience. It helped me grow, listen, understand and appreciate my family more. It was not what I would call the happiest and best experience, but it was important. I now know to appreciate those cloudy days, the ones that make us look for hope, the tiny rays that try to come out of the clouds. I believe that when all hope and light is gone, seeing the smallest ray of light can spark greater gratitude and appreciation. The sun is always there, trying to reach out no matter how thick and dark the clouds of disbelief. I believe that families can be together forever, if we just wait and look hard enough.