This I Believe

Emma - Seattle, Washington
Entered on June 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

Sometimes, you feel like everything’s falling apart around you and you don’t know if you can make it. Then, a friend comes along and does something so unexpectedly extraordinary that you have to stop and think: Who really is my family?

Over the summer, after my dad died, my friends meant a lot to me. Classmates brought my mom and I dinner and I hung out with friends a lot more than I would during other summers. I relied heavily on my friends to keep my spirits up.

But one night in late summer, after a long day, my mom and I came home to find a loaf of bread hanging in a bag on our doorknob. As a smile crept onto my face at the sight of the llama on the bag., I silently wondered, who did this? In the morning, when I ate a piece of toast from that loaf of bread for breakfast, and when I had my sandwiches on it for lunch, I thought more and more about who my real family was. It’s friends who, if they died, I would be devastated over. Of course, I’d be sad if a distant relative died, but how long can someone really be sad over someone they never met who lived on the opposite side of the country? I know I couldn’t be sad for very long. I’d be back to my regular schedule within a few days.

All this time that I’ve spent thinking about who my friends are and who my family is, has made me come to one conclusion. My friends are the family I’d choose. Although some family members are amazingly supportive and of course I’d choose them to still be in my family, I’d add my best friends into the mix, too.

A lot has changed since I lost my dad. This Thanksgiving will not be the usual family affair; but it will be, of sorts. My mom’s friends and their families, and maybe some of my friends, are all going to come together for a day of fun and frolic with construction paper turkeys and possibly the Apple Cup. Oh, and I found out who gave us the bread – one of my best friends, then and now, who had just gotten back from Peru, and wanted to let me know that she was thinking of me.