This I Believe

Lehua - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

As a child growing up wasn’t that easy, instead of having a normal childhood life like most my sisters and I had to be the grown-ups of the house and take responsibility for our own actions. We learned how to manage all tasks a mother and father should be doing around the house by the ages of four, six, and seven. My oldest sister, Maile, who was seven at my dad’s death bed became our semi-mother figure, she would take time to watch over my middle sister, Keawe and I when ever we need help.

Regardless, my mother was there from time to time, but she struggled to keep a roof over our heads and make sure we were well fed and up to date with the daily needs. She would work day and night shifts at the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City, and when she would come home she would either sleep, look at bills, or relax with what time she did have at home.

Many times being the youngest I would want my mom’s attention all the time, I would want her to hold me, tell me stories, tuck me in and kiss my injuries, and my sisters would feel the same way. Sometimes we would bug our mom trying to get her to cook or make us something but she would get mad, and over the years it seemed that every little thing we did she would get mad.

From me and my sisters’ outer appearance then and now you could look at us and see that we are perfectly fine, and that we haven’t endured any pain, but we have, more than most will know.

It was about a year after my dad’s death that my mom’s anger began to subside and the reason for that was a new love. She had met an 18 year old nurse that worked at the hospital with her. She had dated him for a month and decided to bring him home for what was supposed to be a one night rest but instead became a move in hotel got him and his friends. Most times our mom would neglect us and run around with Chris. Food was rarely in the refrigerator, the house was always a mess, and when ever the two love birds came home it was a double team or “anger”.

Our food supply mostly came from our grandparents. Our second set of parents that tried to help and take care of us but mom wouldn’t allow it.

To this day now I remember hearing screaming and crying, the sound of sirens and cops sole hard shoes stomping around on our tile floor. It always seemed like the cops were over at our house a lot because of my mom and her boyfriend. They would always get into fights and my mom would always be drunk, my sisters and I learned to hide in our rooms, just in case one or the other came in.

But even threw all that hardship and damage I have learned to believe that with every obstacle that we face will always have a good turn out. The harder it is the more there will be to gain, and it shows.

About five years have passed since my mom’s boyfriend became an ex. My mom has undergone breast cancer treatment and hasn’t been very well but just semi well enough. My sisters hide their scars and try to forget about there past but either isolating from the world or becoming very outgoing and a party gal, and as for me, I have learned how to live on off of my own strength with the help of friends. Regardless how we may act, we are more of a family than we have been in the pass, and I believe that it was because of the obstacles that we faced that helped shape us who we are, and helped brought us together more.