I believe in the love of a family. I believe in a family being there not only during the good and happy times, but also during grief and tragedy.
When you’re in high school everything seems so simple. All you have to worry about is keeping your grades up so mom and dad don’t yell at you and staying on everyone’s good side so as to not have rumors about you spread. I know what that’s like. I’ve been there, done that. As a sophomore in high school nothing could go wrong. I had the perfect boyfriend, great friends, and good grades. However I wasn’t ready for the devastating blow my family was going to receive.
May 19th, 2005 started as a normal day. I got up, went to school, chatted with friends, and then headed home. The day had been normal until that point. My mom wasn’t usually home when I got home for school, but she was that day. I walked into the house to find my mom in our living room crying. She told me to sit down and we waited for my sister to get home. As she started to talk the words didn’t sink in right away. Then it hit, and it hit hard. My aunt had gone upstairs that morning to find that my cousin had passed away in the middle of the night.
The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. The pastor came to talk to our family, we held a viewing, and then went to the funeral. It all seemed surreal.
As we stood at the grave site the love our family had for each touched me and shook me to the core. All of us cousins stood in a half circle with arms around each other. In front of us sat our aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents. Behind us, our extend family and friends. I’m not sure who started singing “Amazing Grace”, but it was my cousin’s favorite song and soon everyone there was singing. The love of my family filled the area and gave hope that while nothing was ever going to be the same again, at least we still had each other to rely on.
Now, almost three years later, I can look back on the day and see not only what we lost but also what was gained. My belief in the love of a family started on that saddest of days when we had to say goodbye to my cousin for the last time. And every year, around the time of my cousin’s birthday, I take flowers out to my cousin’s grave because he is the reason that I believe in the love of family.
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