Jennifer - California
Entered on May 6, 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 believe in family. It was August 5, 2007, Cynthia Ann Florez passed away in the ICU at UCLA medical center. I was at home when I heard the terrible news. My body went numb and I fell to my knees crying. My whole family loved my aunt; she was an amazing person. People from every where, even the ones not connected by family, came to say their goodbyes. I looked around at all the tears that were shedding from there faces and realized that we are all family. I took it all in and realized that family will always be there and family can be connected to each other in various ways.

I believe that family will always be there. I was nine-teen at the time and alone in my room when I got the phone call. It was my first real boy friend that said, “I think that we should break up.” My eyes tread up and my ears started to feel warm, then suddenly I dropped to the floor, clinching the ground with my fist. My family helped me through the night and plenty of months after that. From all the advice it brought a sense of comfort and made me feel that I’m not alone in this world. I realized how lucky I am to have a brother, sister, and mother in my life. It is a treasure to say, with a 100% confidence; that I am not alone and have a support system that I call family.

I believe that family can be connected in various ways. One way is through my church family. It was Easter Sunday, almost the end of the sermon. When the pastor asks every one that needed to find them self and god, to come forward. I was one that wanted to go up but was hesitant. As the tears were dripping down my confused face a whisper came in my ear, “Do you need a hand,” and I replied “yes.” I took her hand and went up with relief. Secondly: my work family. They are the women that I see every day; the mothers that I have around the clock. For instance they can tell when something is wrong and that’s a great thing to have. Those are the two different kinds of family that I can learn certain things from that I cannot learn from my immediate family.

The word family I find is unique because there is not one set definition that everyone goes by. I can express family in my own way and what I think family means to me. From the tragic ending of my aunt life, Cynthia Ann Florez, had me step back and appreciate that family will always be there and that family can be connected to each other in various ways. As my life goes on for me I always remind myself that our lives can end at any moment and we should always cherish our families.