Family and perseverance, keys to the future

Miryam - Queen Creek, Arizona
Entered on February 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
  • 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 can still hear my mother’s crying at night wondering why the bad luck was following us, we never harmed anybody on the contrary she gave away even when she did not have for herself, that is her nature. My mom has always been hardcore Catholic, but when storms came to our lives, she started questioning God.

I was given the world if I wanted it since the day I opened my eyes. I was the very first

child in my dad’s family and therefore I deserved everything, so they said. My father’s side had the wealthy people that did not care about anything but themselves, and my mother’s side had the ones who had to work hard their entire lives in order to succeed, they did not take anything for granted. My parents had a different view of the world and how money should be spent, ever since I can remember they have taught me to be humble.

I was born in Peru and spent fifteen years of my life there. Peru is a third world country where you can have a good life if you have the money, the economy is so bad that what people make here in a two days, they make in a month. Economic crises stroke the country a few years ago and it has been like that since then. My parents were victims of the economy and had a sequence of bad experiences; we lost the house, the company and therefore a lot of the money. We also lost the support of my dad’s family, and I do not mean economic support, we became strangers. However, my mother’s family has always been there for us, no matter what.

I believe in family and perseverance because those are the only two things that have helped us succeed.

My mom’s family is the best family I have known, they are willing to give anything for each other even when they are struggling; that is how my grandma raised them. She was a single mother and did not have money but she did a great job raising her kids and teaching them values, they have always been united. They proved that with perseverance anything can be achieved.

My grandma has five children, and ever since they were little she has told them that they are like a hand, all the fingers always together; if one is missing the hand is not as strong. My grandmother suffered of domestic violence and she was the only one that provided for her children, she had to work all day but still had time to raise her kids. She taught them to value every single thing in life because she worked extremely hard for everything they had. She taught them to give and be there for each other no matter what.

How do you go from having everything to having nothing? I asked myself at night. There were no opportunities, there were no jobs available but there was family and always perseverance. My parents have never given up on anything; they tried to get through the bad times and even when they thought there was no God and they were being punished, they still had hope.

When my family went through economic and health issues, my father’s family was never there for us, they did not care about anything but themselves. They did help us in some way getting through the economic hardships but they were always rubbing it in our faces, telling the whole world that they gave us money, and also blaming my dad for how our lives changed. Who wants a family like that? , a family that treats you like a stranger. My dad tried to lie and convince himself that they had their reasons, but the truth is that it hurt him deeply. His family has always sort of rejected him because he is not like them, he is rational, humble and loving, and he does not care about superficial stuff.

My mother’s family sort of adopted him as part of their family way before their marriage, I guess his mom has always been jealous of that fact, but she was never there for him. My mom’s family has always given us that emotional support, and even though they had economic limitations, they did everything in their power to help us out.

My parents tried so hard to make our lives better and take every opportunity they had but nothing resulted as expected. Frustration and tears came to our home, and hope was no longer there, how would you feel if you tried and tried and you never get there?, thankfully our family was together and stronger than ever.

Economic crises were still making the country miserable, but a one of a lifetime opportunity knocked on our door. My dad got the chance to come to the United States, the land of opportunities, and with him his whole family. For most Americans this could sound funny or seem very simple, but for someone living in a third world country that suffers the consequences of economic limitations, the sole idea of coming to the United States with a legal status is a gift from God.

Things did not get any easier for us, we did not have the money in order to come to this country. My parents had to sell everything and use our last resources. My mother’s family cooperated more than any other, they all gathered and worked together on a fundraiser, they got everyone involved, from neighbors to coworkers. I think that is the best memory I have of family support, I had never seen them work so hard before; when we are together we can do amazing things. My father’s family contributed also, and suddenly started to show some emotions and be affectionate.

My family has always been together, in the good and the bad; no distance has been able to keep us apart. My mother’s family is still in Peru, we have not seen them in four long years, a sacrifice my parents have to make for a better future. They are always praying for us, and when we feel lost, frustrated or sad, they are always there, it only takes a call to hear my grandma’s voice and get some of her wisdom.

I do not know how my life would be if I did not have my family by my side, they have taught me that there is nothing stronger than our love for each other, and that no matter what happens in life, perseverance and family support are the only things that would make you go forward.