This I Believe

Kyle - Berea, Kentucky
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, love
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This I Believe

What I believe in most is my family. What more does a person need than the people they love? Sometimes, that is all a person has. No matter what happens, many people know their family will always be there for them. Consequently, many people take their families for granted. Furthermore, many family members do not go out of their way to help, show love towards their family, or even appreciate them in some instances. I have done some of those things many times before, but after the incident with my grandfather I really see how important family is to me and should be to everyone. I believe that family can take any problem you may have and make it seem like a distant formality. Having a family and being part of a family can be two totally different things. I believe being part of a family, not just being a bystander, can make anyone into a better person. It also makes you into the person you will be in the future. For example, a person who has been raised in a loving family and who is taught very well in many different aspects of life will certainly carry that over to their future. That shows involvement or being part of a family. On the other hand, a person raised in a family that lacks discipline and respect for each other will carry negative things into their future in many cases; usually resulting from not being a supportive part of the family. However, I also believe your future relies on your relationship with your family as well. You can be an active part of your family but still have a negative relationship with them. Family is very important, more important than many people realize.

Recently, I have found this out on a much more personal level. As in all families, we have our share of small disputes. Although we have these disputes, everyone in our family knows they are loved unconditionally, no more so than in times of trouble or distress. A couple of months ago my whole outlook of what a family was and what it meant, changed.

If there was one person that my whole family looked up to and admired the most, it was my grandfather. He was a man who was full of nothing but love for his family and he clearly showed it time after time. Unlike many members of my family, he never had an ill word to say about anyone. My grandfather acted as sort of a mediator for the family when we had those disputes and he always seemed to solve them. He also brought the family together and reminded us of what was truly important, family itself. As we would come together he would talk about what was wrong and what all we had already been through together. However, he had no greater impact on my family than he did three months ago.

Almost three months ago to the day is when my grandfather passed away. It was a bit unexpected and you can imagine the pain that my family went through. You would think that losing someone who seemed to be the foundation of a family would cripple that family. However, his death had the exact opposite effect. Leave it to my grandfather, even after he is gone, to leave his mark on my family.

After the death of my grandfather, my family has transformed into something that is absolutely amazing. Never before have I seen my family go to such great lengths to make each other happy or show how much they love each other. It was as if we had the ability in us the whole time, but it took the death of my grandfather for us to realize that we were not being a family and that he was no longer there to keep us up.

I must admit that a little over three months ago I did not believe in the idea of family as much. Maybe it was because I really did not know how much it could for me or mean to me. I took what we had for granted. However, my outlook on what a family is and what means has totally changed. I now believe it to be my future. What I learn and experience with my family, I will take with me for the rest of my life. I, along with my family, now know how important family is and we will never forget. I just hope everyone can realize what we have. I also hope that they can be as blessed as I was to have somebody like my grandfather in their lives.