This I Believe

Courtney - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on September 22, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Through All the Joys and Sorrows

“Friends come and go, but family lasts a lifetime.” This is an all-too famous quote by my mother. She used to, and still does say this to me whenever I get into a fight with my little brother. Now that I stop to think about it, she is right. Friends will come in and go out of your life in a matter of seconds, but you can always count on your family to be there for you. I believe that family, immediate or extended, is the number one source for a happy life.

When I was eight years old, my grandfather died of cancer. I remember sitting in the living room, playing with my little brother, and the phone rang. My mom answered it, as she did with all phone calls, and hung up a few minutes later with a pained expression on her face. She calmly explained to us that Grandma had gotten home from work, and found grandpa upstairs, laying in bed, asleep. She tried to wake him up, but he wasn’t asleep, he had died. I got really upset when my mom told my brother and I this. My Grandpa and I had been very close. I started crying and running around the house screaming, “He can’t die before Christmas, not before Christmas!” My mom dropped me and my brother off at my aunt’s house, before going over to my grandparent’s house.

My grandfather’s memorial service was a few days later, and then everything returned to “normal.” I knew that my whole family was there, not only for me, but for everyone else in my family helping to get through that difficult time.

At the church I attend with my family, middle school students have the opportunity to spend three years learning about God and Jesus Christ. At the end of the three years of study, students celebrate Confirmation. I was confirmed in May, along with fourteen other friends of mine. For most of my friends, it was just their parents that showed up. Not for me; my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, brother, great grandma, and close family friends all came to support me. It was so amazing that they all came together for a joyous occasion, not for a death.

Later that day, at the party my parents threw for me, my best friend showed up. She and I have been best friends since the third grade. We’ve only had one major fight, and it was over a boy. She is my twin sister, not a friend; but part of my family.

So yes Mom, family is always there in times of sorrow and joy. You can count on the close friends you have, and know that they will keep your secrets, no matter how juicy those secrets may be. However, you are blessed with one family. Good times and bad, you know that you have someone who will stand by your side, and help you get through the troubles of life. This, I believe.