This I Believe

Reuben - chicago, Illinois
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction, family

Over many years I have learned many things in life. I have reflected on the life that passes by my eyes.

I seen many things and have many memories that which help me to become the person I am today: loving, caring and understanding. When I was young I never had the true meaning of a family. I always compared my family to my friends’ family and mine was always different. We’ve almost all heard the story about the kid whose mother did drugs. If you didn’t hear one here’s one for you.

I was young kid at the point of my life, too young to question life. At the time I didn’t knew what drugs were but I had seen them many times. When I reached the age of ten I had an understanding of drugs. I was ten and unsure of whether to feel sadness in my heart or hate. My mother became worse by the time I reached 12, becoming addicted to heroin and still keeping her old addiction, cocaine.

A new addiction meant a new price so she needed a job to support her new habit. So she took a job working The Street for her money and drugs. While she was on the street I was at home with my younger sister and brother. My sister cried every night, praying and wishing that my mother would get better. I was still only 10 years old. My sister never had met her father but I was there for her and became her father. My brother was younger than my sister; he was 5 years old. At the time he was too young to understand. He also had no father there for him just like my sister. I was there for him too as a big brother and a father. I basically raised these kids, cooking and cleaning for them the best I knew how. This caused me to become closer to my brother and sister. I have learned how to be a family man. I learned how to love someone. I learned how to be supportive. Even if mother caused pain to me and my family members’ hearts she was still a good mother. She bought us food to eat and a home in which to live. I learned to love my mother no matter what. I am happy to say my mother is better and been clean for a year now.

My mother and I share a bond with each other. So do my brother and sister. It brings a smile to my face to know my mother is safe from drugs and her self-destruction every day. I talk to my mother. I have the feeling of being loved and so do my brother and sister. That void in my heart is now gone; a mother’s love is a part of my life. Last Christmas family and I told stories about the good times that we had with each other: a perfect family moment.

I believe that family overcomes everything.