I am the only son of my family, the family which self-destructed while I was still in my childhood. My mom was a really kind person but also very fragile. All of those who knew her felt sympathetic towards her, for she was always crying, and suffering from some mental and emotional problems. Before I go anything further let me tell you about my sisters, one of who is five years older than me while the other is three years younger than me. We were close, and had a strong sibling bond. Our father was an old man, he and my mother having children late in life, and normally had a serious and quiet temperament. We rarely saw him smile, but when he did, it was sweet enough to make us forget the frown he wore most days. Every day, there were struggles and fighting between my parents, some of it because my mom was tired and angry because of my dad’s constant silence, and unwillingness to communicate. One day, and I will never forget that it was a hot spring day, I came from home from elementary school only to see a crowd gathered near our house, and with firefighters and ambulances adding to the noise and the confusion.
A neighbor, seeing me approach the house, came towards me, and hugged me tightly, tears streaming down her face, as she prevented me from going any further. I could hear my sisters screaming loudly, grief unleashed without constraint, and I could see my dad crying, something I had not seen him do before. As I struggled to escape the neighbor’s hug, I cried out to my sisters and Dad “where is mom?” but no one answered, just grief and tears were the only response I saw. I saw the ambulance leaving, not knowing my mom was inside, with severe burns all over her body, and in a few days, she died in the hospital, surrounded by her family. Later I learned that she had burned herself, but never learned the details of how it had happened. WHY?
Three months later my dad died in his sleep and my sisters and I were now alone. Because we had no relatives, and we were all children, our neighbors took us to an orphanage. My sisters accepted their fate to stay at the orphanage, but I could not do it. As many times as I could find a way, I would escape and find my way back to my home, which now sat quiet and dark. This was the place I knew, the only place I had ever known. Eventually, one of our neighbors, finding me there, and feeling pity for my situation, took me under his angelic hands and let me stay with his family. He and his family supported me in going back to school again, and in his free time, taught me the skills of his trade, as a carpenter. He taught me to believe in myself and over time, I became an excellent carpenter, strong and self-confident.
Now, after more than twenty years since the death of our parents, I am an expert in my job, have a great reputation and opened a large workshop, where my current employees are all men that have dealt with hardships in their past, drug addicts who have stopped or want to stop the addiction. I have since bought a nice home, large and comfortable enough for my sisters, who I took out of the orphanage when I was able to do so. We are happy. We are a family. Someone took a chance in their life to pull me up when things around me were down, to give me an opportunity, and now, it’s my turn to do that for others.