This I Believe

Sara - La Grange Park, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether they are good or bad, happy or sad, these are lessons meant to be learned. They can correct past mistakes and prevent future mistakes. These lessons can be carried throughout a lifetime.

Several members of my family suffer from addictions – smoking, drinking and drugs. My mom, sister and I are not proud of this fact but over the years we have learned to accept our relatives for who they are. I believe my relatives’ addictions have made me think twice about trying these substances. I also believe that learning how to deal with loved ones’ addictions has taught me to look beyond a person’s weaknesses and find the strengths that they do have. They have taught me compassion.

One of my mother’s brothers, my uncle, has had a tough life because of his drug addictions. He has struggled with drug use since he was a young teen. Ten years ago he was a successful electrician who owned and ran his own company. I think this success may have been his ruin. The money he earned made it possible to slip into the drug life again and hide it from his family. Within a couple of years the company was going bankrupt and my aunt was divorcing him. He lost his business, home and family to drugs. He tried programs to quit and was drug free for short periods of time but always ended up using them again. He could not keep a job or support himself. He cashed out his pension and continually borrowed money from my grandmother. He made us all nuts but we couldn’t help loving him. He was part of our family. So the family accepted him, faults and all, and remembered his strengths – his sense of humor, his generosity, his caring and his loyalty.

Finally, after many years of living that life, my uncle is again on the road to being drug free. He has a job and is trying to straighten things out, including his relationship with my cousins. I respect him for doing that and teaching me that I have a great life and that I am lucky that my family is strong enough to overcome any obstacle. These experiences have taught me that family is more important than anything and that no matter what happens you need to be a solid support for them.

I believe that this was meant to happen to my uncle so that my family could build a tighter bond. I also believe that this happened so that my family and I could learn that everything happens for a reason.