I believe in the possibility of multiple functional relationships under one roof. I believe that the love in a household is something that can keep each member standing even under the most dire consequences. I believe in values passed down through generations. I believe family reunions that rejuvenate relationships with distant relatives. I believe in a family dinner on a Sunday night. If it isn’t clear already, I simply believe in family. I also believe everyone is entitled to one, which also says that I believe in adoption and doing whatever it takes to fill missing links.
If I could name one sacrifice my family has made, which has certainly helped define my character, my sister’s adoption and its preceding events would most definitely be the highlight. As a child I was truly attached to my big brother, Gaurav, and I would copy his every action. And like many older siblings, he would take me to play with our neighbors and showed me a good time regardless of my young age. On a traditional family trip to Canada in the winter, an event that I can never forget took place.
On our way back, from visiting family, our minivan under my mother’s control, slipped on the icy road, resulting in a car accident in an adjacent creek. The fatal accident caused minimal damage to some of its victims including my mother, father, and myself, but took the life of my thirteen-year-old brother. Beyond all the attempted distractions my family tried to create for me to help me recover from the loss, I was still deeply engaged in remembering the idol I called “brother.”
Three months later my mother woke up one morning to take me to a place with all kinds of kids, from different backgrounds and walks of life, my mother was predetermined to leave with a new life. With my new adopted sister, Natasha, my mother held on tight to my insecure 3-year-old sister. Our quarrels died off soon and we got along very quickly. This achievement in our relationship came along so early because we were both in need of a figure to lean on.
The significance of this step in my family’s life is something I am very thankful for, now appreciating the advantages and someone to learn from.
Family means something different for everybody. Each has its own highlight, image, and story to tell. My family unique with it’s recovery from “pitfalls” time after time. I believe family is something we can fall back on when we just let go. I have learned so much from my family that I don’t take having one for granted. My experiences and lessons from members of my family have taught me to appreciate my loved ones more and more each day. As weird as it sounds, the loss of my brother has brought my family closer together, leading to a stronger bond between all of us for generations to come. At the current time of my life, I have two groups of people to look to for support and entertainment, family and friends. But sometimes I wonder, “Friends and acquaintances come and go, but family stays true, not for the high school or college years, but for generations.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.