Friends and Family

Andy - Woodbury, Minnesota
Entered on September 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the people around you the most are the ones who make the biggest impact on a life. When life throws a curveball when you least expect it, everyone needs somebody to fall back on for some help and in most cases that person is a friend or a family member. I need to know that no matter what the issue is that I will always have someone who will help me.

When thinking about my philosophy in life, I always seem to think about past experiences, which have shaped my beliefs into what they are today. Without each experience my philosophy would be completely different, and in one situation my philosophy was completely turned upside down.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was an 8th grader and one day I came home from school and heard the sobbing of my mom. The past week my mom had been fighting the federal government in court and when I heard the crying I instantly felt sick to my stomach. I always knew that there was a possibility that she would have to go to prison but in my head I simply wouldn’t let myself accept reality. The thing is though; reality just hit me head on. Once they knew I was home, my parents sat me down and explained the situation. Feeling as if I was in a dream my step dad told me that my mom would be going to federal prison for 32 months. “32 months,” I thought to myself “I’ll be done with my junior year in high school.” Sitting there I honestly had no idea what to think let alone know what to do. My mom was no longer known as my mom, she was now FPC inmate number 11401-041.

It is now been over 4 months since my mom has returned home and looking back on the situation now I can see how I survived. Before she left I had been a person who normally kept his or her emotions inside and never talked to anybody about anything, but this changed everything. My step dad, my sister and a handful of my closest friends made the 32 months tolerable, not enjoyable, but tolerable. They would listen to me when I needed someone to listen and they would cheer me up when I felt down. Without my friends and family helping me through everything I honestly don’t know how I could have made it.

Although I never showed my emotions on my sleeve and never really talked about them, friends and family changed me and helped me survive. Don’t get me wrong, the 32 months my mom was gone were a challenge, but friends and family ultimately made them a lot easier to handle. Three years later looking back, I can finally bring myself to say without my closest friends and family I don’t know how I could have survived.