Keep Holding On

Robert - Rock Hill, South Carolina
Entered on February 11, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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 knew a woman who was in an abusive relationship. Her husband hit her and her son watched. The boy watched her take it for almost 5 years because she wanted him to have a Dad. When she finally left she didn’t have a job or a place to stay. He was with her while they moved from house to house. She got a job and it put space between them that killed her. Things were looking really bad for her. But she had her boy to help her through the tougher nights, to keep her going. Then she met a new man. They are married now and she has a 5 year old daughter. She’s a lot happier and now she has a chance to do things right for a new family with a decent husband.

I knew a man who married right out of high school on a whim of lust. The marriage was difficult, complicated, and in time, it fell apart. He wanted to leave her but he couldn’t because he had a son to think of. He turned to another woman to take away the sting of loneliness, the sting of emptiness from a situation that he couldn’t escape. She finally left and she took the boy with her. He hated her for it. He fought for his boy but she wouldn’t let him see his own son. He turned around. He quit the drugs. He got his own place. He wanted a second chance. He wanted to see his son again. He wanted the chance to be the Dad he never got to be.

I know a boy who’s now 18 years old. He grew up in a house where his parents always fought. He watched his Dad hit his Mom and when they divorced, he went to live with his Mom. He was dragged from place to place. He was never in one school for long so he didn’t have many friends. When his Mom met his step dad she changed drastically. It seemed to him that she took up the motto of spare the rod; spoil the child which meant if he was not hit he was a spoiled brat. His step dad was an ex-military man with authoritarian views. His Mom soon had another child and he was replaced by a glorious beautiful baby girl. They were a family and he felt like he was on the outside looking in. When he was 17 he got out of there. He went to live with his dad. He loves his mom and his sister still but it just wasn’t right for him there. Now he lives with his dad and he has a chance to be who he could never be before. What that is? I don’t even think he knows yet.

I’ve learned that life knocks us down, so that we can learn to pick ourselves up.