My Family

Raphael - Dixon, Illinois
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family

As I look at my past and present, it’s hard to imagine where I would be if my parents hadn’t instilled in me a sense of “family” and a sense of work ethic.

My father wasn’t the type who spanked my brothers and me after a certain age. Instead he talked to us in a way that let us know that we had disappointed him and my mother. One time my older brother and I had given Mom a hard time all day. Mom had tried her best, throwing sandal projectiles as we ran away from her like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid after robbing one of the local banks! But just like Butch and Sundance, “The Law” caught up to us.

Dad called us in to the bedroom and we slunk our way in. What we were expecting was a “Good, hard spanking!” Instead, Dad sat us down, looked us in the eyes and told us how much he loved us and that we were too old to be spanked anymore. Damn…that guilt; works like being stabbed with a spoon, slow and extremely painful! My brother and I ended up sobbing like two schoolgirls watching Old Yeller for the first time.

I grew up with great appreciation for family. My parents worked hard for what they have now and for what they could provide at the time when we were growing up. Both of them were migrant workers and used to work the fields. My parents could have been content with just getting by; instead both went to college and earned a teaching degree.

I married at the age of nineteen. As can be predicted of most marriages at a young age eventually I got divorced. The only thing was that it took me eleven years to figure out that she wasn’t the one for me. The hardest part for me was telling my parents that I was getting divorced. Mom firmly believes in “till death do us part.” But eventually I convinced her that I wasn’t happy and that this was what was best for me. My ex-wife and I never had children and as a result I felt a little empty.

Shortly after, I met my fiancé. She’s everything I ever wanted in a woman. There is just a great chemistry between us and my family, so that in itself made me feel complete. We ended up getting pregnant and it stirred something in me that I hadn’t felt before.

Until I had a child of my own, I did not know what it felt like to really have a family. This changed my perspective in life. I have a good paying job, with good benefits, but that isn’t enough anymore. My little girl has “lit a fire” under me to not be satisfied with just “good.” So I come back to school in search of something else to further me in this game of life; if not for my daughter, then for whom?