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            Experts say the most influential years of a child's life are from six to fourteen, I'm hoping they are wrong. When I was 7 my father experienced some legal troubles, which forced him to leave the house, the family, me. I remember the day perfectly; it was the day my life would change forever. I was too young to realize what was going on then, so I couldn't comprehend why my father was leaving me. I begged him to stay and I reminded him countless times how important he was to me. But it was all in vain; I only accomplished making his departure more painful, for both of us.
             I began seeing the results of the tragedy and its impact on my family, the way it changed my mother, sister, and I. The damage it caused, and how each individual was able to handle adversity. My mother experienced the most difficulty adjusting. She was forced to take on a second job and still could not make ends meet. The daily torment of seeing no way out, no way to lift us out, began to take a heavy emotional toll. She did not have time to spend with us and began growing cold and irritable. The loving relationship I had with my mother came to a stop after a few years and then took a turn for the worse. She was not the kind loving person I knew her to be. When not working, she was always irritated and angry. Most of the time she would take this frustration out on my older sister. I would cry and tell her to please stop; I knew she was driving my sister away.
             As soon as my sister was old enough to leave the house, she did. Now I was left alone with my mother. I did not fault my sister for leaving. I knew she must search for something better. I had always idolized my sister, and for several years she acted as my mother. She was the one who punished me when I misbehaved, made me dinner, and gave me advice. I learned the things young women need to know from her, as well as the things children can't comprehend the importance of yet.

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