At this point in my life, I take a look around, and realize all my friends I thought I had, aren’t really friends, they’re more or less acquaintances’. Through grade school and high school, I generally was one of the more popular kids. I had all the friends in the world, and all the girls liked me, I was the man. What I’ve finally realized is at the end of the day you’re all by yourself just as you came into this world. One thing you can rely on though is your family. I believe, through hell and high waters your family will always be there to support you no matter what.
One of my best memories I have of family support and comfort when I needed it was when I got into a fight at St. Augustine Prep. It was one of my worst points in my life by far, and was a turning point in my life. I mean everything the stress of what was going to happen to me, what my friends thought of me, if I was going to be able to move on as an individual, etc. it was a time of depression and great hardship. If it wasn’t for my family, the ones that love me the most, I don’t think I would have made it.
It was my junior year, when I walked down the gym hallway, and got into an argument with a fellow classmate. Who I thought was my so called friend; my friends name was J.R. Lafferty. J.R was upset about a previous battle at ice hockey practice. He took a swing at me. I never expected this, I didn’t want to fight back, but I had to in order to protect myself. I swung back, and when my fist connected with his face, I saw everything flash before my eyes. My mother and father being disappointed in me, If I was going to be able to stay in school, all my friends faces, Father Paul’s face, and worst of all my own guilt because I knew in my heart I didn’t want the situation to come to this. I ended up actually hurting J.R. and feeling horrible about it. I didn’t want to hurt him, I just wanted to talk it out and if he had a problem so what it was one person that didn’t like me or he would have gotten over it. I think the thing that bothered me the most was I really liked J.R.
The fight obviously caused a lot of problem at school. J.R. was immediately expelled. I was put in front of the school board to be reviewed. I ended up finishing out my junior year at prep and was asked to leave at my own will at the end of the year. I could have protested, but I decided, along with my family this was the best decision. I was devastated; St. Augustine was my life, my pride and joy. All my friends were there and I had to leave that all behind. This was a huge turning point in my life. What could I do though; I couldn’t dwell on the situation forever.
I attended A.C.H.S, Atlantic City High School, for my senior year. During this time I realized no matter what happened I would always have my family. While I was at Atlantic City, I was still very upset about St. Augustine, there were times where I left school early to meet my mother at her office to talk to her because I was beside myself. I couldn’t tell you how many Sunday dinners I spent hugging my dad crying on his shoulder. Even my brother being there to tell me it was okay was huge. I really don’t know if I would have got through this without them.
After realizing the past was the past, I made the best of the situation. I said, why not have a great senior year, I couldn’t let one incident, a five second incident ruin my high school career. I stayed positive and did as well as I could possibly do at A.C.I actually started to have a great time, Strengthening friendships with old friends, and making new ones. I also met the girl of my dreams, who I am still with today, and hope to stay with forever. Atlantic City ended up not being too bad after all.
My family was very proud of me that I made the best out of a horrible situation. They told me, how proud they were of me and told me what a great job I had done, so far. Over Christmas break, I was at the house eating dinner with my mom, dad, and brother. Dinner is always something my family does, it’s a time we get together and talk about each other’s week and what we have to do in the up and coming weeks, months, or whatever we need to talk about. Its family time, we turn are cell phones off and just give each other are undivided attention. While we were talking about where my brother was going to play hockey next year, my dad got a phone call. My dad said, “It’s for you,” meaning me. It was Father Paul Galetto. Father Paul asked me If I would be interested in coming back to St. Augustine for the remainder of the year to graduate with my senior class. I was in awe, I had never been so happy, delighted, before in my life. I was going back to Prep!
Now, my family had another thing to talk bout at the dinner table. If I would go back to St. Augustine Prep, to finish out my senior. I right away told Father Paul I would love to, but my dad said let’s talk about it first. So, we did we talked about the pros and cons of me going back or staying in Atlantic City. I mean I would be leaving all the friends I had recently made at A.C, my girl friend; I was doing excellent at A.C, and was already accepted into a couple colleges. My dad and mother said it was up to me, but I knew they both wanted me to go, and I thought it was in my best interest to go back.
I made my decision I was going back to St. Augustine Prep. I feel today I made the right decision, and I ended up having an awesome senior year. Things worked out for the best in the long run. I feel if it wasn’t for my family being so positive, I feel I wouldn’t of had such a great senior year. Most important I feel my family kept me going through one of the hardest times in my life. I learned the true value in family, I feel if this situation didn’t happen I might not appreciate family as much as I should, so I would like to say, “Thank You!,” to my family and I want them to know I will always be there for them in a time of need.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.