I believe in the strength of family. Without the love and support of my own family, I would be nowhere. When my mom got pregnant with me, she was in a bad place in her life. The thought of having a family changed her and she started down a new path. She left my abusive, biological father to make life better for me, and the children she would later have. She was empowered by the strength that came with being responsible for someone other then herself.
For most of my life, my brothers and I lived with just my mom. Most single homes don’t do as well as ours has. My mom has made so many sacrifices to give us the world. She’s provided us with everything and more, with the help of her family. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles filled the gap where a father should’ve been.
Having one parent in the house made my brothers and I close. When my mother was angry with us, there was no daddy to turn to. We had to stick together; it made us the best of friends. The boys would play Barbie’s with me, and I played video games with them.
Though we did fine without one, the absence of a father in the house was tough on my brothers. We have different dads and while I never met mine, theirs lived close. Legally, he had custody on Wednesdays and every other weekend. Instead, it was more like maybe once a month, or just for holidays. He was only a part of their lives when it was convenient for him. My brother Zach took this the hardest. He would cut himself to ease his pain, and when he bled, we all bled. When my mom didn’t know how to react, Max and I became his support system. If we weren’t as close, my brother would still be forming scars today.
We are far from perfect, but we work with what we have. There have been countless times when the tears my family’s cried have been my fault, but its what we do after the fights that matters. We forgive each other. We laugh about it the next day and move on. We show our apologies through kindness. It’s care that keeps my family strong. We’ve always stood by each other and always will.
I don’t have a typical family. No topic is off limit; we’ll talk about anything and everything, and I actually like spending time with them. I can talk to my mom without fearing her reaction. I know she wants a better life for me then she had, and when she gets mad its her way of caring. She would do anything to protect my brothers and I. As a family, we’ve been through hardships and happiness, we’ve laughed, and we’ve cried but no matter what, we stick together and love each other, through thick and thin.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.