Second Chances

Breanna - Portland, Oregon
Entered on April 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that every one deserves a second chance. In today’s society, there is pressure to be perfect and to meet everyone’s individual needs. However, mistakes are part of human nature and it is unrealistic to hope that an individual can be perfect. There are times when people say things that are hurtful, but they don’t mean it. There are times when people’s actions are more powerful than any words could be. Family relationships can be damaged. I believe that people should be forgiven for their misunderstandings. Arguments are natural, and apologies are simple.

About eight years ago, my family suffered a terrible loss. My mom and her siblings were heartbroken about the death of my grandfather and the death of my grandmother shortly after. The conversations between my mom, aunts, and uncle were angry and upsetting. It seemed as if everyone was blaming each other. Although I was only ten, I realized that this was not a normal dispute between friends and family. I remember the tense phone calls between my mom and her siblings, all the tears and the pain that everyone was feeling. I knew that everyone was hurt, and I was too, but I had no idea that this hurt would not go away.

I remember the memorial service held on the front lawn of my mom’s childhood house, and how no one wanted to look at each other, much less talk to each other. I felt like our family was falling apart, that no one loved each other anymore. I didn’t understand why everyone was blaming each other for our loss. I didn’t see how anyone was truly at fault, no one meant for this to happen. I was so confused and I wished my grandparents were there. The tears just kept coming.

The relationship between the family on my mom’s side and my aunt is still damaged to this day. Maybe there is more that I do not understand, but I still believe that our family is able to overcome this pain. It has been eight years since the tragedy, and I have not spoken to my beloved aunt. I miss her warm hugs and swimming in her pool; she was everything that a caring aunt could be. I miss her so much and I wish that she could see how much everyone misses her too. I believe that our family can rebuild its relationship and that apologies are possible. I know that my mother is capable of forgiveness and I believe that my aunt is capable of forgiveness as well. I hope to see my aunt and speak to her some day. I want her to know that no one meant to offend her, and that she didn’t mean to hurt any one either. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. I want our family to love again.