What We Used To Be

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By Kim Chi

Mormon Family Dinner

A sweet savory aroma of food hovers in the air; a dim light casts an orange glow that illuminates everyone’s faces, while a family of five gathers at a dinner table, hunched over their plates. It’s overflowing with a variety of foods that mom and dad have spent so much time on. They loved preparing meals and sharing stories from their day. Laughter fills the room. Three children chatter animatedly with each other, while mom and dad share loving gazes.

That… used to be us. The five who used to be so close have grown so distant. Dinner used to be the one time we could come back together as a family from our own separate, crazy lives. What used to be is no more!

I used to feel so close to my parents and I felt like I could tell them anything. So much has changed between all of us. Ever since my dad stopped going to work everyday, it has taken a toll on the whole family. He goes to work only when he feels like it. A couple of years before, my dad went for a screening and the doctor told him that he had a small tumor in his liver that was barely visible and wouldn’t affect him in any way. Regardless of what the doctor said, he was still paranoid and kept saying that if he continued to go to work, he’d faint or in the most extreme case, die. My mom started stressing out and often, she would refuse to eat. My dad would be so oblivious to everything happening around him and would sit at home watching TV all day, while complaining about his “condition”.

Most of the time, the atmosphere is tense at home. I’m grateful to have both of my parents but sometimes, I feel like an orphan. I know it sounds a little extreme, but it’s just how I really feel. I don’t mean to sound needy, but what if my younger brothers started acting up? They’re still young and need the guidance of their elders. I don’t want to be the only one that provides that! There are so many responsibilities that teenagers deal with that you don’t seem to remember the struggles.

I wish you two could pay more attention to your kids! If you were there for my brothers and myself, it’d make a huge difference. You two are always fighting! Can’t we just go back to how we once were? Instead of all of this childish nonsense? We shouldn’t continue to feel abandoned and neglected as we do now. A family provides support and encouragement to one another, not abandonment. We need you, mom and dad. Not later, but now and forever.

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