The Gaucho Gazette

Family First

Kayla Briceño, Page Editor

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When life endlessly places an excessive amount of responsibilities on me, it becomes easy to take the thing I prioritize the most for granted — my family. My family is my secure shelter, my support system, my everything. We wipe each other’s tears, we exchange laughter and smiles, and we love each other even when we cannot stand each other. It is through my family that I established my sense of self and the set of values and teachings I will eternally carry on with me.

My 14-year-old brother’s calloused fingers, marked with the bittersweet stench of blood, pricked with needles daily and hardened by the never-ending metal that pierces his skin, highlight his invincibility. He doesn’t let any challenge or hardship get in the way of what he enjoys most in life. His medical history prompted him to realize at a young age that success is driven by perseverance.  He reminds me at my worst that whatever he can do, I can do as well. He is my warrior of inspiration. He motivates and challenges me because he believes in me.

My seven-year-old twin sisters remind me to stay true to myself, usually by telling me I shouldn’t wear makeup, but through other actions as well. While the outside world may only accept me if I appear radiant and strong, my sisters are there to give me hugs when I look hurt or broken. My sisters will idolize me even when society says that I am not good enough. They are my blanket of serenity. They provide uplifting comfort and strength to me because they believe in me.

My 41-year-old father pushes me to do my best and to take all of the opportunities given to me since he was financially restricted from doing so, growing up in a household with 11 kids. My dad works to ensure my family has food on the table, a roof over our heads, and a wide spectrum of opportunity. There are days when my dad comes home from work past 11 p.m. with a new collection of cuts, scars, and bruises only to have to wake up early the next morning to go back and get more. He is one of my biggest supporters in school and both on and off the basketball court, even if that means he has to leave work early to attend my games or school-related events. He is my beacon of security. He makes sacrifices for me because he believes in me.     

My 36-year-old mother maintains the balance and the peace of our family. She is one of the kindest and most forgiving people that I know. My mom has the ability to see the good in anyone or any situation. She radiates positivity through her smile and her humbling words. After a bad race, game, or school day she is always the one to inspire me to work hard to overcome my failures, and to do better the next time around. She is my ray of sunshine. She instills faith and courage in me because she believes in me.

My 16-year-old self puts a great deal of time, effort, and commitment in all that I do, so I can make both my family and myself proud. I will show my brother that he is stronger than his circumstances. I will show my sisters that they, too, are beautiful inside and out. I will show my dad that his hard work means the world to my prosperity. I will show my mom that her small acts of kindness have a meaning more than she knows to not only me but others as well. I will show them these things because I believe in them. I believe in my family: my family believes in me.

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