This I Believe

Brittany - Norwalk, Ohio
Entered on September 30, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

After moving out of my home for the first time, I got the news that I may never return. My dad had been offered a substantial promotion, and we decided as a family that we would be willing to make the move to Chicago for him to advance his career. I know my dad would have never asked us to leave for him, but we are a family that loves each other and realizes that even though it will be tough to leave our home now, we will always have each other. Home is more than a place. A home is where a family has taken an ordinary house and given it a greater meaning. For us home has been England, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana. The most beautiful part of my family is that we have always had a place to call home, despite the fact that we have lived in many different houses. I realize that no matter where I go in life, my family will always be there for me, and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I truly believe in the power of family. No bond is stronger than blood and the years of love only a family could give. I have been so blessed in my life to have received one of the world’s best families, and to me they are a priceless gift.

My family is a wonderfully diverse group; each member brings something special to my life. My mom was born and raised in Minot, North Dakota. She has seven brothers and sisters who in turn each have an abundance of children. They are now scattered across these wonderful United States, and on our cross country road trips my family often stops to visit them. Even though I am not able to see my extended family that often, we always make sure to send cards and call on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. I know that if I ever needed anything, one of my many family members would be willing to fly across the country for me, as I would be for them. Even though I have such a big family, love is just as abundant in our family as in any smaller, more centrally located family. Because you see, distance only makes the heart grow fonder. Just because I cannot see my family every holiday, does not mean that they are not with me in spirit. I actually think that I appreciate my time with them much more than families who get to see each other everyday, because I realize how precious our time together is.

My father, on the other hand, is one of two children born and raised in Nokomis, Illinois. His family is very different from my mom’s because although my grandparents chose to have a smaller family, they were never close to one another. Being raised in a family where “I love you” and hugs and kisses were a rare occurrence, my dad realizes the importance of feeling loved and showing affection. He and my mom make a great set of parents because they have very different backgrounds. They have always made family time very important, and I can fondly recall childhood memories of so many family dinners, game nights, and wild vacations. They always made sure that my brother and I realized how lucky we were to have each other, and although we are almost five years apart, that they are many things we have in common. I love my family with all of my heart, and I cannot imagine my life without them. The one thing I know for sure is that I would not be where I am today without the love and support of each and every member of my family.

As I enter a new chapter in my life by starting college, I realize now more than ever just how important my family is to me. They have taken me to the doctor, done my laundry, mended my broken heart, and shared my triumphs for the past eighteen years. I appreciate everything they have done for me, and know I could never repay them for all they have done. I realize that leaving home will be a sad and challenging time for us. Whatever place we chose to live may just be a house at the beginning, but I know that our love can make it a home. Even though it may take months or even years for me to call our new house my home, I know inside that my real home is wherever the people I love are. I truly believe that my family is a group of the best friends I could have ever asked for, and I can only hope that everyone is lucky enough to have a family like mine.