This I Believe

Kristina - Richmond, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family

This I believe that when a family is torn apart sickness brings them back together. My Mother and her three sisters were raised by there alcoholic mother. My grandfather was in military and was stationed all over the world. When my mother was five years old my grandmother decided to take her and her sisters and move with out notifying my grandfather. For years they had no father. My mother quit school in the eighth grade so she could take care of her siblings. She made sure they were feed and bathed every night because; their mother was passed out on the floor of the bathroom. My grandmother slowly started taking one girl at a time and sending them to live with distant relatives all over the state of Texas. My mother then decided to runaway with her one true love. That one true love was my father.

My mother and father were married in 1973 and then I was born in 1974. I have two younger sisters. My mother stayed at home with us girls and my father went to work as an electrician. Ten years later my parents were having some financial problems. I could here them arguing late at night. The arguing became so normal until one night it was different. I heard yelling and glass breaking in the living room. My mom was crying, and pleading for him to stop. I came out of my room to find the one person who I loved and looked up to beating my mom with his fist. The next day my mom said we were going on a trip and we left our house behind. It was the only place we knew of.

My mom filed for divorce and we went on with our lives. I can remember my mom getting us girls dressed in our prettiest dresses so that my dad could take us for the day. But he never showed. My sisters and I would cry for hours. I guess you could say he decided to take the easy way out and not see us or pay child support.

Since we have all completed college, including my mom, and are happy as can be. I had not spoken to my father since I was 10 years old. I am now 32 years old. About two years ago my father called and was at work down the street from my house and was having some chest pains. I immediately called my sisters. I went and picked up my father and took him to emergency room. My two sisters arrived thirty minutes later. My father had a heart attack. Since his heart attack my father and I have a wonderful relationship. We talk on the phone once week and his is now a part of life.

Four weeks after my father’s heart attack, my mother received a phone call from her biological mother. My mother had not spoken to her mother in 30 years. My grandmother had developed lung cancer and breast cancer. My mother is currently taking my grandmother to her treatments for her cancer. My mother has forgiven her mother for burden she placed on my mother as a child.

These past experiences with my father and grandmother have shown me that no matter how much your family has hurt, disappointed or deserted you that when sickness or tragedy hits you pull together as the family you once knew. No matter how much they have hurt or deserted you when tragedy hits you always put the past behind. My mother would always say “Family is all you have, and you should cherish every moment you have”. It takes time to forgive but a life time to forget.