Family Connections

Patty - Centerville, Massachusetts
Entered on February 22, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, gratitude
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that a good family connection is one of the best things that can happen to a person.

I have grown up truly blessed with the family that I have been born into. I am one of eight children and I am the baby. My five brothers and two sisters have truly spoiled me all my life by always being there for me thru the good and the bad, and no matter if I am wrong or right, always supporting me. If I am wrong, they are not afraid to tell me so, and are always there to offer advice to steer me in the right direction.

It may sound like a bed of roses, but we have all been thru bad times together. My parents were both alcoholics, and growing up with that disease has left each of us with its mark upon us. My parents divorced when I was five. My mother ended up raising at least five of us pretty much alone. She had to be father and mother to us, and that was pretty hard to do. I am older now with a child of my own. I can understand how much of her life she gave up for us. She didn’t work outside of the home, but she kept our house running even though we were on welfare for some time. She would drink at times and as I grew up and saw what she was faced with everyday, I don’t know if I could have done what she did pretty much all by herself. None of us kids were ever involved with drugs or got in trouble with the law. When times were bad, when she had been drinking, my older brothers and sisters would step in and “save” us younger ones.

My family would always step in when my mom “stepped” out. We would take care of each other.

We would have our fights and battles growing up too. I remember pairing up with which ever sibling we were getting along with at the moment and having some really ugly battles. Thank God we can pretty much laugh about it now. What didn’t kill us made us stronger!!

Nowadays, my oldest brother and sister are in their sixties and I am in my forties. Our families have grown and branched out. Most are living in the same state, just miles from each other. We talk with one another all the time and love get-togethers. We have had some really painful conversations about our childhood, things that were said and done when I was too young to remember. If you have ever lived with an alcoholic, you probably know how low you can feel about things. You know what I am talking about. I think it made us that much closer to one another.

I love my family. Thru thick and thin each of us contribute to one another’s lives. My sisters, I can tell anything to. To feel able to do that, and still believe that they will love me anyway is so powerful. My brothers and I always have fun together! We all get along pretty well, though at times when there are issues, I like to stay neutral, and try to keep the lines of communication open between us all. I accept them for who they are and know in my heart how lucky I am that they are my family.