“What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.” – Ecclesiastes 1:15

I HAD always believed that a child needs a strong and intact family to grow up to become a decent and responsible member of society. People tend to prejudge children with separated parents as “angst”-ridden, rebellious individuals. Such was my line of thinking until I became a member of a broken home.

When my parents decided to separate when I was twelve, I thought my life would turn for the worse. On the contrary, my life had direction. I saw my relationship with my father slowly deteriorating, emotionally and financially, mainly because I was with my mom. I saw the immaturity that my mom despised. And I began to see the world in its true state: flawed, problem-riddled, and definitely not the perfect place that we see on cartoons.

My grandfather (mother’s side) took on the responsibility of my education when my dad stopped paying for my tuition in my senior year in high school. I was no longer studying just to assume any child’s role in a typical family because the one who paid for my education was no longer obligated to pay for my education. I needed to prove that I was worthy of that trust.

I have three uncles (also from my mom’s side) who took care of the responsibility that my father left behind, and a cousin who became the sister I never had. All of them provided me with a healthy environment to grow and become the person that I am today. They supported me in every endeavor I took, allowing me think for myself, lovingly giving me advises that I always took by heart.

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As I near graduation day, I continuously hope that my grandfather would see me march. I owe to him and to my new “family” everything that I am today.

One’s chances or success should never be hinged on whether a person grew up in a broken home. It always takes a village to raise a child, as the cliché goes. It doesn’t mean that uncles, friends, concerned people cannot fill the gap a mom or a dad can leave his child upon their separation. I am a product of a broken family and I am proud of it.

An Architecture senior, Mark Mateo Morales is the treasurer of the College of Architecture Student Council.

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