This I Believe

Allan - Bethesda, Maryland
Entered on October 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The bond of family is a strong belief of mine despite the things I have witnessed in my life. I have been raised by my mother alone, no father to speak of, no father son bond, relationship or memories. This should make me jaded and question my beliefs about the importance of family but it has done the opposite. I have been victimized and abused by the very man who helped bring me into this world. Because of this I have never seen him as my father, and consequently never seen my mother as just a mother.

My mother had a larger burden to deal with than other parents, she was only one parent. I often think that she felt somewhat responsible for our situation, but she should not have ever felt this way, as I know that each person is responsible for his own actions and it was not her fault. However, she tried to compensate for this loss by working six days a week and trying to provide the best life possible for my brother and me. My mother taught me the best lesson in my life through her actions and her beliefs. My mother never once relied on anyone for help, nor did she ask for any favors. She raised us the way she saw fit and it has not only made her stronger, but it has made my brother and me more discipline and more aware of the “real world”. My mother showed and thought us what she could, but without the rest of my family I don’t know where we would be today.

We were not the only ones in my family to go through this. Both of my aunts have undergone this ordeal, both with kids, both giving them the best lives possible. Often I wonder if the women in my family are too strong of women for just any man, regardless of why they are all divorced it is a fact that we all have to deal with and grow stronger together because of it. My uncle has done everything in his power to act as a positive male role-model and friend to his five nieces and nephews, and in that he has succeeded; I know that without him I would not be the person I am, my family would not be what we are today, and without my family I would be nothing.

This unity and bond between us has made me a believer in the ‘family unit’. Everyone always looking out for each others best, unconditional love, mutual caring and respect…I have lived with these values and they have become a major part of my belief system. I hope to make these things a part of my life forever, always remembering where I come from and never losing sight of what really matters. I hope to support my brother and my cousins the way I have been supported and cared for. I have come to realize what a great part of my beliefs this has become because when I see others who have little love, respect or value for their family, I find that I have little in common with them. I seem to seek others who value family as I do. The cornerstone of all of this has been my mother and her support and unrelenting ways.