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Identity: A Two-Ton Anchor

Joined: 9/21/2014
Posts: 1
As a child I never really understood religion. I didn’t understand why anyone would want to wake up early on Sunday morning just to go sit in pews and listen to a stranger talk. The few times I attended church as a young child, I never understood how people could cry and yet be so happy at the same time. And what were they all so happy about? It wasn’t until the beginning of my adolescence that I too would experience that happiness.
My parents divorced when I was very young. It wasn’t the cleanest break up and the arguments shared between them still haunt me to this day. I recall hearing my mother speak badly of my father and his side of my family. She reminded me of how much I was like my father when I misbehaved and how their marriage ending was his fault or instead my grandmother’s fault. “Your grandmother never liked me,” I heard her say quite often and I always wondered why. When I would go to my father’s house for the weekend, we would often visit my grandmother at her house. Every time we would visit her she would be sitting in the same chair next to my grandfather. “Hi, Bria” she would say and these very words were what lead me to believe that maybe my grandmother didn’t like me very much either. My name is Ashley, and for years I wondered how come my grandmother never liked me enough to even learn my name. I now bury these thoughts with guilt later learning that my grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease. I have witnessed this devastating disease depress my family, especially my father. Being the youngest of six children and the only one living in the same area as my grandparents, I imagine the amount of pressure my father must be feeling to take care of them.
My father was raised in a strict catholic household, but he lost the religion he had grown up with and was not very religious at all during my childhood. Which is why it took me by surprise when we started attending church every Sunday. As surprised as I was, I was also happy for my father. I noticed a change for the better. The pressure of taking care of my sick grandparents was once a two-ton anchor weighing him down, but miraculously I saw him gradually being uplifted. It was as if before my eyes I saw him take all that pressure and lift it up to the Lord. I then understood what faith was. It is believing that God can make everything better and that He is what makes life worth living. The day I realized this was the day I found myself. My faith since then has shaped me into a person that can appreciate the beautiful things in life. A person who I hope can inspire someone in the future the way my father has inspired me.
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