“Our father left us for someone else but mom never let us feel a difference. She was the only single mother in our neighborhood. Where we lived, families like ours suffered a lot. It was an under-developed place where we had to go far even to get a bucket of water. Mom wove kiras and worked in a factory to provide for us. We lived in a house with just one small room but with my family, even this felt like a castle. Every night while sleeping I would see the moonlight seep in through the holes in the door. Our elder sister took care of my younger sister and I while mom was at work. We took baths on rainy days and watched other kids eat ice cream. We played with stones and jumped around.

After few years, we left that small village and began a new life with help from our aunt and uncle. Our mom was not very well educated but our aunt helped her find a small job farther away. While she was away, our aunt helped educate us. We stayed with them for years. One day, mom called us to stay with her. Seeing her after a long time had me excited beyond words. Walking through her door, I saw a man in the house. He was quite good looking. For several days I called him uncle. Later, mom told us to call him dad. I was quite hesitant at first. But as we got to know one another, he won our hearts. He came from a poor family too but has worked hard to be where he is now. He’s a good person. My mom now has someone she can lean on, someone who understands her and is ready to face everything with her. Right from the start, he loved us like his own. It felt nice to have a father’s love again.

We are where we are now because of my mother who never gave up on us or herself. I wish she had met the right person from the start. But my father might have had his reasons too, so I wish him the best in his life. Even without him we lived a simple and happy life. Single parents and their children also have the right to happiness. As for my stepfather, we may not have the same blood but we have a strong bond that will last for a lifetime.”

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