This I Believe

Krystle - Conway, Arkansas
Entered on September 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Growing up I had never spent more than two weeks away from my family; I never figured they would not be within arms reach at all times. All of that began to change right after my seventh birthday when I moved to Chicago, Illinois from Brownsville, Texas.

In Brownsville I had lived next door to my grandparents since the day I was born. Our houses were only about thirty feet apart, which made seeing them everyday easy. Since I saw them all of the time they were like my mom and dad when my mom and dad were away. In Illinois I had my sisters and parents, but not having my grandparents right next to me made adjusting to a new city that much harder.

I never got used to living up north, so I was happy when I heard I’d be moving. In November of my fourth grade year I moved to Conway, Arkansas. It was much closer to my grandparents, so I got to see them more often. Since I had family all around me, life started to get easier and I figured nothing could go wrong.

I never imagined my life would change drastically for the worse. My grandma got really sick and passed away when I was in eighth grade. After her death my aunt became bitter and stopped talking to us. I started questioning whether or not family would always be there.

Life started to go on, another four years passed and I got accepted to the University of Central Arkansas. I figured going to school in the same town as my parents, would make adjusting to life on my own easier. Little did I know, my dad had been accepted for a job in Texas, and my family would move the summer before I moved into my dorm. All I could think of is that I’d be left alone here with one sister and no other family. I started to give up on the fact that family will always be right around whenever you need them.

A few nights ago I was at the house of one of my mom’s best friends. He kept telling me how he thinks of me as one of his own and if I ever need anything he will be there. As I laid down that night I started to think about what family was to me. I always believed it was made up of my sister, parents and grandparents. In other words the people related to you by blood and marriage. The longer I thought about it the more I realized family isn’t blood or marriage; family is all around you. It is made up of the people who love you and will bend over backwards for you, the people who will be there whenever you need them. Though your immediate family might not always be close, you have people that are just as much family all around you.