This I Believe

emily egan bright - Onset, Massachusetts
Entered on January 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

I believe in cherishing what you have. I believe in cherishing the nights your family laughs in the kitchen. I believe in sitting by the radiator, loving the warmth. I believe in eating dinner and talking about what happened today. I believe in respecting that your parents provide for you. I believe in looking in the pantry and finding something good to eat. I believe in not taking what you have for granted.

When I come home from school, my dad is still at work. He comes home and cooks dinner and we all eat together. I sit in my bed nice and warm and turn the radiator up higher. When we don’t have food, without any hesitation my dad has it in the pantry soon enough. These things are normal life for most. But for some, they wish they had this. I once did, it wasn’t even a year ago that I just wish I had the simple things that “normal” families have.

Over the course of a couple years, my home life crashed and burned. My mom neglected me, had no job and partied all the time. My mom asked me if I could start buying my food, because she couldn’t afford it. There was never a family dinner really, a time when we just all sat and relaxed. I was loving this life for a while though, being able to do whatever I wanted. After a while however, it gets old, and you just want something conventional. When my mum couldn’t support us anymore, we had to live with my dad in not the best place. A small cabin that had a wood stove for heat. I had to wear three sweatshirts sometimes in the house to keep warm. These things that I had been going through, they made me forget what it’s like to have the things you need.

Nowadays, I sit by my radiator and am truly happy that I have a warm place to sleep. I call my dad at work, and I really do respect that he takes care of us. I can look in the pantry and am relieved that I don’t have to worry about buying my own food. I think people need to think about what they have more. You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone. So I believe in cherishing what you have.