The Swerve

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Life is celebrated when a child is born. Parents want a better future for their children to pursue life with purpose, dreams, and goals than they had experienced. For others, children are brought up with hardship and struggles because of the lack of knowledge they possess to know how to be something or someone. My parents had it hard to support the family ties to keep it secure. They made sacrifices that they weren't able to be home together to raise their children.

I grew up with both my parents and my little sister. Growing up was challenging for my parents to care for us while they laboriously work several hours to keep the family at bay. My dad had to work overseas as a fisherman for several months at a time leaving my mom with two kids behind. She had to work two jobs as well and was forced to leave my sister and me with Grandma until things are financially stabled. Between family and work life, they set their fortune on casinos and bingo hoping their wealth will arrive sooner than later. We used to live in a house that my uncle had given us, but because my parents couldn't afford the mortgage, we had to move into a one-bedroom apartment for several years. My little sister and I had to sleep, in our sleeping bags, in the living room, but we relocated, later, to a two-bedroom so that my sister could have her room. I still slept in the living room but on a couch, this time, which was an upgrade for me. When I turned 19, I told my mom that I had to cut the umbilical cord to move on with my life. I lived with a few roommates here and there, and yet, I still didn't have a bedroom or a mattress to sleep on until I could afford a studio apartment to have a place to myself.

Over time, while my parents had to work several jobs, there was a lack of communication, and we seldom spent any family time together. I didn't know how to strike up a dialogue with my parents because the relationship with them was so disconnected due to their busy work life more so than living life. I can only remember my parents bustling to get to work and coming home exhausted. I felt detached emotionally and socially from them like a tumbleweed just rolling by. It left a gap in my life.

Later, in time, a turn of an event changed our lives dramatically like a swerved ball. My father's career ended with a heart attack and my mother as well with breast cancer. They've worked so fervently, hoping they could fulfill their purpose and dreams to be like those wealthy people who had hit the lottery jackpot. They lived poorly compared to both sides of the family among their brothers and sisters. My parents wanted the best for my sister and me, but with their unfortunate health issues that ended their careers prematurely, they couldn't return back to work.

We have heard it said that money isn't the answer to everything, but what if your parents were ill-stricken, and you were unable to care for them because of your lack of resources? How would I be able to return the favor to my parents by caring for them? Their careers didn't end with proper retirement but with health issues. Wouldn't you want to have a lifestyle different from your parents' struggle to live fully and be available to your own family? Now, having a family of my own with just my three kids and me, I don't ever want my children to experience the same distant relationship because of the lack of time and money. When I reach my parents' age, I would like to kick it in my golden years with zest, full of life and without strife. Venture on the possibilities of what your future can be rather than working until time calls it quits for you.

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