I WAS able to watch several movies at home as I took advantage of the Christmas break and two of these really made me cry a river. I sought these titles because it appealed to me as I read the reviews and heard about them on entertainment news. True enough; the movies were worth watching but not after crying buckets of tears.

The Blind Side portrays the true story of an African-American youngster who left his dysfunctional family to find his place. Homeless, the young boy was taken in by a wealthy white family who has grown fond of him and helped him develop his full potential in education and sports.

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In the course of the young boy's stay with the family, each led to insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Michael Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adoptive family, becomes a successful football player.

He harbored no ill feelings for his past and looks at life's positivism. In interviews following the showing of the film, Oher says when he has a family of his own; he will shower it with love and affection that had eluded him in his growing up years.

Oher's tale is the classic success story of one who overcame obstacles and challenges despite his dysfunctional family background. This is common among products of such a family set-up -- the children either go wayward or become achievers. Oher had a drug junkie mother and his father was killed without him knowing it. He had other siblings some of them he barely knew because custody of each was assumed by the government due to the inability of their mother to care for them. He grew up in a community where violence and drugs abound. But he triumphantly rose above these adversities.

The movie My Sister's Keeper on the other hand is a touching story of unwavering support of family members for each other when one becomes stricken with incurable disease. For a mother, nothing is as devastating as having to deal with a child's illness -- cancer. Thus, she exhausts all means to keep her child alive even to a point of being blinded with the reality that another child suffers in keeping the other child alive. The film also tells of dealing with acceptance and letting go of a situation which Divine Providence only has power over.

In the movie the mother makes her daughter's illness the sole family priority and with limited medical options for her child's rare form of leukemia, she becomes desperate for a cure, to the extent of succumbing to the genetically contrived conception of another child.

After years of donating the youngest sister's genetically matched parts to her older sister through countless and some painful medical procedures, the former seeks medical emancipation, as the law puts it, from her parents. She sues her parents for the rights to her own body. It tears the family apart but in the end, the film makes us realize that we do not hold the stars and the moons over a circumstance or situation that is beyond us. Yes, it is easy to say to let go but it is very hard to do especially if it involves the life of another family member. In the end, the cancer-stricken daughter dies ahead of a scheduled surgery that would have taken another body part from her younger sister. The mother realizes that even with the birth of the younger daughter, it is not a guarantee of the older daughter's life and that the former has a full life ahead of her free from medical complications.

Both movies portray the common bond among all of us by which we all live for -- family; this smallest yet most important unit of a community and how each character is shaped. The other shows a happy-go-lucky family with no regard for each member. While the other depicts a closely-knit family who sticks together come what may through each trial.

After watching the movies, as I have always reiterated in my past writings, I will treasure my family even more.