Home Sweet Home?
Everyone is put in this world without a choice. We don?t have a choice of parents. We don?t have a choice of what we are going to look like. We also can?t choose the location we want to grow up in. We don?t have any choice at all when we are born. People have to just take what they get and try to live with what they have. I personally didn?t like the place I was raised but did I have any choice? I had to adapt to the environment in which I was raised. My first house I ever lived in wasn?t a good one. Experiences I had living there will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Ever since I could remember my parents have been separated. I was about the age of two when my mother filed divorce from my father. Usually when the parents divorce the wife usually gets the house. This wasn?t the case in this situation. My father had refused to give up the house. My father was still upset about the divorce. He felt that since she left him, she had to suffer the consequences. That?s just the type of person my father is. He?s not a mean person; at times he?ll be hard headed. So my mother packed her bags and was on her way. She ended up moving to an apartment in Campbell where she still resides. My father,on the other hand, kept the house that the two first moved into. The house my father lived in was in San Jose. This house was in a bad part of town. East Side San Jose is known for its run down housing. So living off the intersection of
McLaughlin and Tully, we lived in the heart of East Side San Jose.
My mother sympathized for her two children who now have to grow up with separated parents. Usually when a couple divorce, legally the mother can take full custody of the kids. My mother felt that my sister (Kelly) and I should still live with my father on a regular basis. She decided to give part time custody to my father. One week I would be at my mother?s house, the other with my father?s. Most of my memories as a youth though, are of the memories I had of my father?s place. We lived in a run down place in an ugly part of town. The paint on the house was faded brown with plenty of paint chipped off. The grass was dead with weeds everywhere. The sidewalk in the front had a crack so high you could do a three foot jump off it with a bicycle. And I couldn?t forget the insides. The house had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. I remember waiting five minutes before every shower just to get the water warm. The carpets were brown and ugly with stains in them. Most families by the 1980?s had a color television. The year was 1985 and we had a black and white television that only received ten different stations. My father believed that we should do something constructive with our lives instead of sitting in front of the ?boob tube.? My constructive days were outside playing on our old jungle gym. I remember sliding down the slide and stopping half way because it was too rusted. Every time I swung on the swing you would hear constant screeching that would make dogs bark for miles.
At this time my father started his career off at the beginning of what we now consider to be Silicon Valley. My father was working full time at Tandem, a computer company located in Cupertino. My father felt that he wasn?t making enough money to
pay child support and take care of us part time. Since there were three rooms and my sister and I were sharing a room, my father felt it was necessary to rent out one of the rooms. I remember a strange man with bushy long hair and a beard had moved in with his son. Mark was the man?s name. I remember seeing him and his son in torn jeans and ugly t-shirts. Mark stored his motorcycle on the side of the house. In our backyard lived their dog. For months these people lived with us. My father was so fed up with them disobeying rules that finally one day he told them to pack up and leave.
I never really had too many friends in the neighborhood. I remember playing a couple times with the neighbor?s kids. The families around there were mainly of minority. I do remember having a couple white friends who I would go over to their house and play. I remember my friends were quite different from me. At times they would curse or be mean to me. My father brought me up to never swear and respect everyone. I remember having a friend (or so called friend) who was three years older than me. One day he thought it was a wise decision to have a game with money involved. Of course he won and suckered me for all of my money. I told my father later on that day how much fun I had on this game but I lost all of my money. My father was very angry with me and told me never to hang out with this boy again.
We lived in that house for about six years. I was born and raised in that house. My father watched the neighborhood go down year by year. We would hear news of murders and burglaries all the time in our part of town. We even experienced burglaries. In the six years we lived in that house, we encountered four burglaries. One of these times my father almost caught somebody in the middle of robbing us. Luckily he scared off the
robber without injury. My father finally had it with the house and the part of town. As soon as he had gotten a better job and more saved up, we got out of there.
The memories I had in that old house I will never forget. I still remember many events clearly from that place. The location of where someone is raised molds a person into what they are today. Where someone is raised can have a great impact on their life for years to come. Where I grew up had a great impact on my life. What sticks with me is the thought of not being able to afford a house in a nice area when I get older. I could never have my kids grow up in an area like I did. I am thankful for my father who raised me in the right direction even if it wasn?t in best environment.