This I Believe

Jimmy - Las Cruces, New Mexico
Entered on December 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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I believe in the importance of maintaining close ties to family. Last Christmas, my grandma passed away, but I didn’t feel terribly sad. She had been in a lot of pain for the past couple of years and I was relieved it was finally over. Even though she lived over 600 miles away we were able to see her at least two or three times a year. I had said all I had needed to. Losing my grandma helped me realize the importance of family. I never wanted to be in a situation where I lost someone close to me during a time when our relationship wasn’t where it should have been.

During my last year of high school and first year of college I didn’t have the best relationship with my parents. This was my fault because I was a lot more focused on partying rather than learning. Partying was fun, but our relationship suffered as a result. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t just let me live my life the way I thought I should. I finally realized the reason they cared about it so much was, well, they cared. I realized the stress I was putting on their shoulders and how much I made them worry. I got my act together and started actually attending classes. I still partied, but my parents didn’t really care once I had shown that I could get stuff done that had to come first.

Our relationship improved immediately when I brought home a report card with grades proving I wasn’t just wasting their money. They admitted that they had never really cared about the partying itself, rather they were more concerned with the effects it had on my schoolwork. I also had to admit that they were definitely right on this one.

In hindsight, I really appreciate my parents’ concern about me. I used to avoid talking to them on the phone because we always wound up arguing, and I didn’t even like going home for the same reason. Now, I don’t dread phone conversations with them, and I actually enjoy going home to spend time with my family. My life is every bit as fun as it used to be but now I feel like I’m accomplishing something at the same time. If it weren’t for my parents’ dedication I probably would have dropped out of college by now and be stuck in a dead-end job. My parents and I now share a relationship in which we respect and trust each other. Our open communication ensures that if something like my grandmother’s death were to happen again I would not be left with, “I wish I’d told them I loved them.” This is why I believe in the importance of staying close with your family.