This I Believe

Gerline - daly city, California
Entered on December 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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I believe that family is important

On December 6, 2006 at 4:30 in the morning I was awakened by my moms crying. I walked to her room scared and wondering what was going on. My mom said, “Baby your uncle called and told me that your grandpa had chest problems and they tried to help him but he couldn’t wake up.” I was speechless and didn’t know what to do but to hold my mom. I said, “Mom what do you mean?” she said, “Anak grandpa is gone. He couldn’t breathe anymore and your uncle told me that the only way to keep your grandpa alive was to use the respirator, but your uncle chose to pull the plug and now your grandpa’s gone.”

A week later after my grandpa’s funeral we had a family get together at my uncle’s house. After our prayers my uncle decided to talk about his memories with my grandpa and grandma. As he looked at my mom he was pouring wine in everyone’s glass and said, “Everyone I would like to make a toast to Ate’ because if it wasn’t for her I would still be in the Philippines.” I looked around and I saw everyone’s faces swell up with tears. That moment I realized the importance of family.

My mom showed me how family comes first. She sacrificed her education as well as her future for a better life for her family. At the age of seventeen she dropped out of high school to work with my grandpa. Helping my grandpa save up money was hard for her because she wanted to be a normal kid instead of feeling like an adult. They both raised up their money to bring her sister, two brothers and her mom to America from the Philippines. I thought about how hard it has been for my mom because she has been working all her life and is still working at the same job today.

My grandma demonstrated that family is important and taught me how to care as well as love. She helped me realize that family can be more than a blood relation but a friendship. She was the glue that kept the family together through thick and thin. My dad’s mom didn’t want to help take care of me and I barely even knew her. My mom’s mom was my best friend because I was always with her and she loved me unconditionally. For example, when I was a little girl I use to run to the park and come back home with a ton of sand in my hair. I remember my grandma saying “What’s that in your hair?” and I said, “I don’t know.” She took me outside to take the sand out, she told me to take a bath. While I was taking a bath she made soup for me because I had a cold. This showed me how much she really cared.

My older brother taught me that when a family member is in need I should always lend a helping hand. He helped the family when my dad was gone for a year after 9/11 happened. Before my dad had to leave for Travis Air force Base he said, “I want you to be the man of the house and take care of the family for me.” My brother had to spend more of his time with the family and work at the same time. There was a time when my mom had to work on certain days and he had to baby-sit me. He picked me up from school, took me wherever he went and helped me with my homework. My brother’s hard work made me realize how much he was there for us.

After my grandpa’s funeral, the moment my uncle made that speech, it made me understand that family is all that you need in life to get through the hard times. My grandma taught the entire family to help one another. Her influence reflects through my mom and brother. My family today remains strong, although my grandma and grandpa are not here today; we are able to stand on our feet. I hope when I have a family that I will be able to teach them the importance of a strong rooted family.