growing up one lesson at a time Essay

Submitted By jmerrick420
Words: 1555
Pages: 7

Jason Merrick
Mr. Piotrowicz
ENGL 151, Sec. 51
February 19, 2014

Growing up One Lesson at a Time There are few moments that have the ability to shape one’s life like the tragedy of divorce. As a teenager faced with a family torn apart, I learned many life lessons. The transition from a happy household and family, to one faced with separation, resentment and the struggle to acclimate to a different way of life was an experience that made me who I am today. The person I am today is the result of past experiences, and the pain of divorce. Before my parents divorced, I have the fond memories of a typical family. As a family we went on vacations together and were surprised on Sunday mornings with the words “Let’s go for a drive.” Our family vacations were full of joy and happiness. We would travel to drag-racing events around the central United States. As another means of spending time together, my mom and dad purchased a ski boat. Being on the water as a family was among the most enjoyable, memorable and funniest times in my adolescent years. In 1991, my family moved to Collierville, Tennessee. My father worked as a mechanical engineer, my mother a stay at home caregiver and my brothers and I assimilated ourselves to southern living. As an eighth grader in a new school I found my calling in football, and gained a foothold in the school by building new friendships within the team. By my sophomore year, and through the principals and discipline of football I was an honor-roll student. I was the only sophomore in the long standing history of the Collierville Dragons to earn a starting position. At the close of my sophomore year I was being scouted by multiple colleges in the area and had even begun receiving scholarship opportunities. At that time I felt overwhelming clarity with my life path and knew exactly what I needed to do to succeed on the field, and in life. However, behind closed doors there was turmoil brewing between my mother and father. I began to realize very quickly that something had changed between mom and dad. What once was the support of a loving father was replaced by someone who was separating himself from his family. Instead of being part of the family, he would stay at work long into the night in an attempt to avoid facing the reality of a stressful home and raising three teenage sons. Eventually, he began a physical and emotional relationship outside of his marriage as an attempt to cope with his life at home. Unfortunately, as the shocking news of his transgressions were revealed, what was a strained family turned into a broken home. On January 21, 1994 life as I knew it drastically changed. My brothers and I were told in no uncertain terms that dad and mom had made the choice to officially divorce. At that moment I felt that everything instilled in me had been corrupted. I felt that all the loving and happy memories with my father had been a sham he had carefully orchestrated to keep his lies hidden. Within a short time of the mere mention of the word divorce, my father had moved out of what was once our family home. The days that followed were filled with fear of the unknown and open arguments over money and living arrangements. As I watched the progression of the separation from my father, my mother began to physically and emotionally break down. The man that she felt she would grow old with, turned into someone that betrayed their love and ruined the family she held so dear to her heart. Watching my mom face what she says is the hardest challenge in her life, solidified my feelings of resentment towards my father and my overwhelming need to be a guardian over my mother and brothers. Clearly the family dynamic is in a constant state of flux, and ever teetering on the balance of change and normalcy, this only strengthened my resolve to protect those around me. When it was decided that my older brother would stay in our home state of Tennessee, and my