The Things That Turned Me Strong

February 9, 2008
My name is Julio, and I lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment with my mom and my dad. I have a great story to tell you. It is about how the problems in my life made me a stronger person. It started out by my family being very poor. And let me tell you something, being poor isn’t a fun situation to be in. We always did have plenty struggles here and there. Whether it was trying to figure out if we could eat tonight or not, or trying to figure out what I could wear to school, since I had no clothes. My parents barely had enough money to pay the bills, and to top it all off, we were on the edge of getting evicted from our apartment. My mom spoke no English, and it was impossible for her to get a job. Although my Dad had a job at a restaurant, he did not get paid much.
It seemed like my world came to an end the morning I heard my dad crying over my mom’s shoulder. I asked them what was wrong, and all they told me was that the restaurant that my dad worked at shut down. And that everyone there lost their jobs. I knew where all this was going. I wish I could have done something but at the age of 9, there is not much you can do at a time like this. So I just sat by and supported him. My mom later told me that we would have to move out and go on vacation for a little while. I was excited, but soon after that, I figured out that this was not your ordinary vacation. My life changed after this.
We were living in the streets of Los Angeles, under a bridge, where many other homeless people lived. And believe me, that was no dream “vacation”. I remember hearing my mom and dad cry every night. My dad said I had to stay strong for Mommy. But pretty soon I couldn’t hold back my tears. The hunger got to me every night; we got food from the trashcans around local grocery stores. My mom and I always did pray to God, so that one day he could get us out of this mess.
My dad did everything he could for us. Everyday he would go in search for a new job. I don’t remember exactly when, but after a couple of months he found a new job. He worked at a computer place, and little by little things started to become good for us. We soon moved into a 2 bedroom apartment, and my dad went to college to get a degree. And that’s just the beginning of the best.
Years later, here I am. It is the past that holds my family together. Now we help those in need, whenever possible. We will never forget the times of difficulty, because it is that, that made us stronger in the end.

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