Personal Narratives

I will never take a moment with my family for granted

Dec. 5, 2023

By Alexa Cizek
Staff Writer

When people hear, “Cherish every moment with your family,” they don’t always take it to heart. From a young age, I have been through a lot, and as a result, I know that well-known saying bears a lot of truth.

When I was in fifth grade, my parents were not talking to each other as much as they used to and were frequently arguing. That same year, they announced they would be getting a divorce. This made 2018 a tough year for me. 

My dad moved out right after the divorce, while my mom, my older sister Lucy and I stayed at our home in North Arlington. It was so different not to have a father figure at home all the time, and I missed his presence.

So much of my life was changing at the time, and I was grateful that Lucy was the one person who understood what I was going through and provided me with constant support. 

After a year, my mom decided to move us to Lyndhurst. It was a difficult time for me because my parents already went through a divorce, and now I had to get used to a new school system and make new friends. It was all very stressful for me and hard on my mom because she now had two children for whom she was the primary caretaker.

When she had to go to work, I was home all by myself, often for the whole day, and I had to take care of myself.

After moving to Lyndhurst, things got better. My mom got a new job with better pay, and so did my sister. In 2021, my sister got married to a man named Luke. At the time, he was in the military and stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. After they got married, they decided to get an apartment on the base. That’s when things started to get tough. 

Now, it was just my mom and me by ourselves. When she had to go to work, I was home all by myself, often for the whole day, and I had to take care of myself. I am glad, though, because it made me more responsible and independent. 

This period of time was a huge struggle for my mom. She was coming home from work exhausted and worried about me. She felt bad that she was not spending enough time. As the months went on, it became clear that we needed someone else in the house to offer support. Luckily, my sister realized how badly we needed her help, and she and her husband moved in with us.

Once Lucy returned home, she was able to help with cooking, groceries, lawn mowing, rent and so much more. All of her contributions to our family took a lot of pressure off my mom. 

Through all of our ups and downs, my family and I built a stronger bond. I have never valued them more, and I will never forget how grateful I am to have them in my life.

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