What is family about? What characteristics do they reveal? Is it respect, support, loyalty, and love? In my family we have learned that a family possesses all of these qualities and that a family sticks together through whatever life may throw at you. We have been through difficult times for the last fifteen years; since the day my sister, Daniela, was born. I believe our life would not be as great as it is without her in it. Our experience with her has made our family stronger and the love ‘skin deep.’
When my sister was born, she was perfect to us in our eyes, she had all ten fingers and toes and a beautiful little angelic face. So what’s the “problem?” My sister was born with a highly unusual birthmark on her right cheek and chin. On her cheek, the birthmark is a greenish, purplish color that covers half her cheek and it seeps down all the way through her skin into her mouth; on her chin, she has just a regular brown colored birthmark this is perfectly shaped under bottom lip. It may not seem like it would be such a big deal, but her birthmark catches a lot of people’s attention everywhere we go, which has causes a cascading effect of thoughts and emotions.
The facial differences between her and everyone else have caused plenty of teasing and tasteless comments from many ignorant people. These would be expected more form children rather that adults, but in reality, adults have been the worst. We have received comments such as, “Has she been playing with makeup?” “Is she growing a beard at such a young age?” “Is she dirty?” and the number one remark, “It’s not Halloween yet.”
My sister has been through so much for her short fifteen years that she has been alive. She has been depressed, hiding out at home, avoiding the world and their rude comments. Her self-esteem was through the floor, nothing could get her out of it. All the remarks not only affected her but us as a family. We were falling apart at one point; anger, sadness ruled our home until we all came together as a family and discussed the “problem” and realized that this should not break us down, but make us stronger.
Family is all I have. I believe that with family and love anything is possible. Their support is all you need to succeed in life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.