Some people are greatly affected by things that happen to their generation, because there are no personal events that help define them. Other people are defined by the events that have taken place in their personal lives. I am defined as a person through the events that have happened to me personally. This essay is about a few of the many events that have defined me.
As far as I can remember, I ve always looked up to my father and always wanted to be around him. Maybe this was because he was hardly ever around. He was a heroin addict that didn t have respect for himself, so didn t have any to give others. He was in and out of jail, on and off the street. It seemed like he would never change and be their for his family. Then one day, he was sent to prison for 11 years. This day was December 22, 1988. My mother s birthday was the day before, and Christmas was three days away. Finally, he started to show a different side and began to make promises of devoting himself to the family, going to be the father his two sons desperately needed and the husband his wife had thought she married.
My mother worked the graveyard shift and came home to take my brother and I to school, then went to her part time job while we were in school, then picked us up, went home and put food on the table. She didn t sleep much, she didn t think about her health or herself at all. She just wanted to give her two boys everything she could. She would take us on long drives to visit our father, sometimes eight hour drives just for a eight hour visit. Her health quickly deteriorated as a result. One night, when I was with my mother at work, because there wasn t someone to take care of me that night. While walking around the hospital with my mother delivering medical records, she complained about sharp pains in her stomach. After a few minutes, she couldn t handle the pain, and I did my best to carry her to the emergency room. It was a bleeding ulcer, and they had to operate immediately. The bleeding was so severe that she wouldn t have made it if she didn t work at the hospital, because they wouldn t have been able to get her there in time. Because my mother had to spend the next few weeks in the hospital and would be too weak once she was out to take care of my brother and I, we went to live with her brother and his family of 12, in a three bedroom house.
I missed my mother very much. Sometimes I would just start crying if I thought of her. Finally after one year away, we were able to move back with my mother, whom was living with her sister. My mother had recovered, but would never be the same. We went through a year with everything seeming back to normal, when her doctor discovered that the breast cancer she had removed when they removed her left breast, had come back on her right one. She was going to have to have it removed. She was also going to have chemotherapy, which was going to leave her to weak to keep my brother and I around. We both were moved back in with her brother s family.
After six months my mother realized how life could end so easily, and she couldn t bear living so far away from her children. We both moved back in with her and another sister. She recovered well, but would never be the same after all the major operations. She went back to working hard for us, hoping that when my father was soon released on good behavior, he would pick up the slack.
He came home with promises of a changed man, but the person he was didn t change. He couldn t handle taking care of a family, and as a result, he pushed us away. He didn t want a family, because he couldn t handle being a part of it.
My mother kept on working too hard, and I got a job to help out. School was always the top priority though. No matter how bad times were, our education was never put aside. She developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrists. It was so severe that the therapy didn t help, and surgery would be the only alternative. This surgery would not be as successful as the previous ones. It left permanent nerve damage from her wrists to her shoulders. She could not go back to work and I had to work more. She couldn t cook for us anymore, and she became depressed. It left its mark on me as I had to drop out because I couldn t handle the stress. Finally, my brother and I told her how she was acting was unacceptable. We needed her more than ever, as support. She started to change. It was a domino effect as everything seemed to pick up as I had my best semester after going back to school, my brother got serious in school, and my mother began to grasp her new role in our life.
My mother has shielded us through many tough times. She gave everything she had to give us everything she could. The things I have learned from her, I try to apply them to my life. I have developed an appreciation for my life and everything I have because of how hard she worked for me to have it. I have been shown how to find the drive to pull you through difficult times. I also am proud of the things I have endured and am grateful of the things I learned, and therefore would never change a thing. My mother has had the most affect on the structure of me as a person. The events that she went through and took me through has defined me. The impact of these events is the reason I m affected by them more than anything during my generation.