Personal Narritive

March 20, 2011
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There were kids running wild, yelling and screaming to the heavens. Half-eaten food left on the table, a baby with a dirty dipper crying, walls smeared and dented, and clothes in the hallway littered my once beautiful and newly painted house. This scene of devastation was a result of my aunt Margaret and her family coming to live with us for the summer. She came with a dog and six kids, eighteen year-old Matt, Lauren who is sixteen, Aubrey who was twelve, Erin who was ten, Haley who was six and little Emily who was two and a half. This unfortunate pairing was a direct result of my Uncle Doug’s affair. He has completely left the family, he hasn’t had contact with his kids for over two years, and he has no desire to have any further affiliations with them.

My aunt Margaret had come to Utah to find a house. She had left Colorado with no guarantees of where or when she would be able to rent a house. With a limited budget, a dog and a desire to be in the Highland-Alpine area, hopes were not high that my aunt would find a house soon. While she was here, my house turned into a hotel. My family became the maid services and my cousins had become the tourists. I wasn’t happy about the dog Miely, because I had to pick up her poop. The Eastmans always appeared to be the ones to lounge around the house or outside by the pool while I remained working, both in the yard and in the house. It was infuriating to pick up after teenagers who would leave everything everywhere.
My family and I were asked to share every way we could think of. From bedrooms, to closets, to bathrooms, to food, to toys, to basically everything we had, we were sharing with the Eastmans. Because of these less than ideal circumstances, I had developed an annoyance with all of my cousins and especially with Haley who never took the word “no,” and Emily who would never stop crying until she got whatever she wanted! What started out as a happy reunion, soon turned to an unhappy summer. Nobody was happy, everyone was being rude to each other, and the question was starting to change from when they would find a house to when will they leave my house. I soon was very unhappy with the fact that I was living with another family who did nothing. I wished that they had just stayed in Colorado and left us well alone. They were not happy with us either, they kept talking about how much they had liked the Denver area, how they had enjoyed their friends their and how much better it was than Utah. The whole thing seemed like a hopeless disaster that would never work. I sometimes found myself wishing that Margaret would find a house in Logan and be far away.

When confiding in my parents about my feelings, they told me how difficult it must have been to go through what they did. Losing a dad that was once a role model and hero, not having a fatherly figure to talk to, and being up rooted and leaving all of their friends and memories behind in a shattered home. I trued to put myself in their shoes; I wondered how many tears and how much sleep I would have lost if my dad had left me. I really felt guilty for what I had said and thought. I couldn’t imagine how hard it must have been to lose a dad. I wished I hadn’t done or said the things I did, but I found a new desire to try to put on their shoes; I started to look at the mirror and not through it. I really tried to think of it as service not slavery.

I think that everybody started to change their attitudes, they started to help a little more, and the atmosphere changed, and I soon started to build bonds with all of my cousins, yes, all 6 of them and the dog Miely, became, to quote Haley, my “girlfriend”. We played in the pool, worked in the house and yard together, and went to see movies together. We became really good friends, almost like brothers and sisters. We could see each other’s flaws, they didn’t go away but they were diminished because we weren’t focused on them, instead the focus was how we could serve. Soon the house turned from a dump to a clean and happy house, where we ate, drank, slept, played, and helped each other.

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