This I Believe

Ashley - Burr Ridge, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe Essay

A Division That Brought Us Together

In sixth grade my world fell apart. I came home from school and my father’s things were gone. I knew that my parents had been discussing divorce and there would be changes, but I wasn’t expecting the move to happen so soon. When the day arrived where I came home from school, and saw the emptied house, I immediately went up to my room and sat in silence for hours. I grew up having a great childhood; I have three amazing older sisters and two extremely loving parents. There were always fights, but I thought all families argued. I did not know that it would lead to the separation of my family, which ironically, became a blessing in its own way.

Over the next few years it became hard to adjust to this new life. I had to live with my sister waking me up, instead of my father turning on the lights, his cologne filling my room, while he sang the old Sailor quote, “Rise and shine, swab them decks!” I had to get used to visiting my father at another home; and I had to adjust to separate holidays. Those were the many things in life I took for granted. I didn’t open up to anyone about the divorce for years. I was too embarrassed to tell my friends what was going on at home. I felt alone, and angry.

As I matured, I slowly learned to accept these changes and saw my father every day no matter what. My anger became love and I knew I was lucky to have both my parents with me regardless of my family’s situation. My family began to work really hard in coming together as one. I understood that my parents were very much a part of my life as they were when they were married. I realized that the divorce did not have to be such a hindrance on my life.

One day, one of my high school drama teachers helped me realized how unique my family’s situation actually was. Mrs. White approached me about my parents. She told me how much she admired them, and how they put everything aside to work with her at every event or parent teacher meeting. I never realized that it wasn’t “normal” for my parents to attend all my sporting events, plays, conferences, and dinners together. I just figured that’s what some divorced families do. Mrs. White helped me appreciate and truly value the unique strength and unity of my family.

Even though a document might state that my parents are divided from each other, they still come together everyday for their children, and remain steadfast friends. I witness everyday a love that can never be broken, and that is the love of a family. I believe divorce may divide a family, but does not have to break the love that bonds them.