I believe family is the most important thing in life. When ever I talk to someone who has lost a family member they always say that they’re stronger then before, but that is a load of crap, and the reason for that is whenever they see a family together or something like that, they start to tear up. They start to remember and wish for that again and the hurting continues all over again. The whole family thing to me is beyond words; without my family I would have never survived my past.
My parents got a divorce eleven years ago and that’s when it all started. The divorce had killed everyone emotionally and we had all broken down. The fact that we were all little kids was the worst part. My dad took the older kids, and my mom took the younger ones, which included me. As young ones, we all looked up to our mom, and I knew my brother and sister looked up to me.
Things started to go downhill for my mom because working and raising four little ones is super hard. Working for my mom was not an option anymore and raising us was the only option. I have no idea how money came into our lives but she supported us someone how and we still had food in our bellies. The house that we were living in was a four-story house and was getting too expensive for my mom; so we moved out and headed on to live somewhere else. Having each other was the greatest possession that each of us had shared, because we didn’t have a lot when we grew up and when we did we had shared it like it was our own.
We finally moved out and headed toward the Rockford area. I was about eleven years old and did my part my stepping up and helping the family out. My dad sent us money all the time so I saved a lot because I knew that we had absolutely nothing. Once we arrived in Rockford we had no house, no car, no money, and no place to live. My mom made sure we had somewhere to sleep, so she had all these papers for housing and for food stamps. We were living in a community building, and the government supported us and we lived with a lot other poor families. Times were really tough and we were living and sharing rooms with people we did not even know. That bothered me a lot, but I didn’t care as much because I had my family by myself and my mom working things out for us to have our own places.
My dad was giving us money all the time and helping us out, but my mom made it seem like he was the bad guy when he really wasn’t. We had finally got a house to ourselves; although it wasn’t in the best neighborhood we still had our own place. The neighborhood was terrible, gang’s here and there, drug dealing, fights and non-stop noise going on all the time. We were the light in the dark neighborhood, and the people there did not like it at all because we were trying to make it a peaceful place to live. The worst was that as a twelve year old, I had to fight in order to keep my family safe. I got into fights all the time to keep people away from my family and to keep what I had safe. We then moved to another place, which was a little bit better, but still in a crappy place with the same kind of people. We had lived in this place for about five months and moved out as soon as possible. The reason for that a shooting had occurred and the shooting took place at 9:36 p.m. The worst thing possible was that it went through our door and was a foot from hitting my baby sister. The bullet went through our front door and hit our refrigerator. That was the last straw for us, so we moved again.
We then moved to a way better place, although there were the same things going on it was a better place, because we made a lot of friends their and got comfortable. We stuck together as a family and watched each other’s backs when going to school and when going to play outside. Things were tough when our parents got divorced but we stuck in there as one and made it happen. I moved out and lived with my dad when I reached the age of fourteen, and started high school. My mom then moved to a better neighborhood with the three that lived with her. As time went on, they got older and it was time for the three little ones to move in with my dad and me. My mom then moved out of state with my baby sister. It hurt a lot because I had taken care of her and my mom like I was the father, and all of a sudden they were out of state and out of my life. We stayed in contact and saw each other on holidays. It was a great feeling knowing the fact that they were safe and doing all right. I kept them safe from day one and to the present day by calling them and sending them money when they needed it the most. I believe the most important thing that our family had when we were broken down and had nowhere to go was each other. We stood next to each other when we were scared and in harms way. We fought each other’s battles and made sure that none of us got hurt or scared or depressed. We were there for one another and backed each other up, no matter what the issue was. We were one strong group; we were one strong family. The definition of family to me is, sacrifice, strength, belief, hard work, caring, anger, depression, and most important, LOVE.
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