During my time growing up it was difficult to have a comfortable life because of the extreme poverty that my family was in. I remember not long ago my family was among the wealthiest of families in the region. My father owned several pieces of land that were dedicated in the production of opium, a family business that that had been in existence for two generation. My father had always groomed my brother and I to take charge of the firm when the time was right. However, this time came sooner than we had all anticipated when he met an early death at the hands of his brother, my uncle.
Mother had done an exemplary job in raising the two of us brothers whose role was now to take care of our mother in the absence of our deceased father. The ordeal began one chili morning when we were having breakfast at home in the western highlands. My uncle was a general in the government which, had received much criticism and hostility from the opposition. My uncle was a huge man, bold and fierce with his words. This was the second time I had seen him in my life because he was never at home. That morning, a trop of soldiers forced their way to our house upon the command made by my uncle.
My mother lead us to lead us out of a secret door of the mansion we had that we never knew existed. She had to flee with us to save our lives, which would later turn to be a blessing to her and the memory of her late husband. Years later after the death of our father, we had to device ways in which we could support ourselves. Andrew my brother was always passionate about art and music just like mother. However I was deeply motivated to be a business man and follow in the steps of my father.
Over the years I had always wondered how differently life could have unfolded for us in the case we stayed back that day. Moreover, I was in constant thoughts over why my uncle had been so heartless on that day, his motivation for violence against his family and what was happening at our home at the moment. Our mother had forbidden us from ever return to our lost home, she was convinced that the place was cursed and that our return will be the cause of our death
Life had changed for us, from the comfort of a mansion and servants to a life of poverty and begging. There was so little we could call our own conspiring the time we had to escape with our lives. Despite our situation, our mother constantly consoled us the best way only a mother could. From time to time we would be on the move in search of a place we could settle and start a life. One day, as it had been our habit, we approached a tycoon who we hoped could employ us to perform farm work and other casual works that could help us live by. The man had a huge mansion and a large coffee plantation which we later learned was an inheritance from his grandfather. I envied the peace that the man had in comparison to our situation. Being a kind hearted man, we explained our ordeal and he offered to help us, not only did he take us in but also paid for our education. My mother was now aging and she fell ill frequently.
One day after school mother called me to her room where she had been on bed for several days now. She had a deep smile in her face that always showed contentment and love, but I could also see that she as in pain and her smile was not as bright as it used to be. These were the most intense 5 minutes of my life, I was confused on what I was supposed to do or say, she squeezed my hand and whispered to my then with one last heavy breath she died. At that time I could feel the weight of the world on my shoulder, I could hardly breathe and my mind was blank. I had to stay strong for my younger brother since I was now a guardian to my brother. During that time I got angry at everyone. First I was angry at my parents for abandoning us at a young age but above all I blamed it all on my uncle. Weeks later I was moved to have revenge on my uncle but I could not since I had made a promise to my mother before she died.
Years later after our education, our host Mr. Moore who was like a father to us, called my brother and me for a talk. He had a bright smile of a proud father. Even though he had no children of his own, he had consistently made it clear how proud he was to be our father. During this talk, he made it clear that we were to take control of his farm upon his death. The thought of it drove fear into me because of my past. I had several questions and at some point I wanted to turn down his offer. However, I could not turn my back on a man who had been good to us when situations were tough in our lives. That was when I realized that family is characterized by resilience, love, commitment and above all loyalty. The gift of family is richer than any other material possession, that is the gift of family.
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