Family Portrait

Been browsing through old photo albums the past few days when Waki (my youngest brother) came in to my room and showed me some of his baby photos. I also stumbled upon my Multiply site which I maintained for half of my college life. Yes, a lot of emo posts going on! You can say I was bitten by the nostalgia bug (if there’s such a thing).

Last night, I pulled my baby albums out of my Mama’s closet. She keeps them there together with my brothers’. I looked crazy, laughing at different photos because I was so maarte. I project all the time! Mama Tyra must be so proud. I knew that I had it in me. Lol! I was also amused by how my parents looked. The hair, the clothes, and my brother’s protruding forehead. Intense!

Seeing this photo though was a different story.

In a family portrait we looked pretty happy, we looked pretty normal; let go back to that

You know that song Family Portrait? It never fails to make me cry. Growing up in a broken family is difficult. This photo made me feel that I was once part of a whole family. That at some point, my parents are in love and were sure that they’ll be together for the rest of their lives. Honestly, I don’t remember them being together. I just remember all their fights, the screaming and the crying, the whole process of annulment.

But I never took it against my parents. I always thought that what they did was the best for us, most especially it’s the best for the both my Mama and Papa.

How did I cope?

Well, I wasn’t bitter. I didn’t look at other families and felt envy or hate. I feel sad of course but I didn’t ever feel the need to trade places with other kids. I was 9 years old and I had to understand, especially for my brother. Also, my parents were still the loving parents children should have — it’s just that they’re not together. They made us feel that they didn’t love us any less.

I took everything differently and did what I had to do to make them proud of me, to make them feel that it’s fine that they are not together coz I’m doing well; my brother’s doing well. I don’t want to mess up and blame themselves for not being the family that we’re supposed to be.

The situation made me appreciate the little moments we spend together as a family. There was a time when my favorite holiday is my birthday because it’s when my parents could be together and not fight (haha). There are little moments too when we’re at the mall, and Papa would meet us, and we’ll be just talking and laughing about what ever. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. It could only last for 5 seconds and I’d still be the happiest girl.

Things happen for a reason. I guess what I’m trying to say is, kids should be grateful for their parents no matter what. What they do is always for our best interest.

Broken or not, family is family. We could still have a photo together and I’d still call it a family portrait.

I split my holidays, I have two addresses, I have half sisters and a half brother (who I don’t call half, really. Just because they are my sisters and brothers), and my mother already changed her last name. Guess what, I’m fine with it and we’re perfectly happy. I wouldn’t want to be part of any family. We may not be the most ideal family there is, but my parents love us. More than anyone in the world.

For me, that’s what matters.

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