I am a 15 year old daughter, sister and a friend to many who have lost their loved ones. I realize how important family is and how important it is to make sure that they are close to my heart. Everybody fights with their family.  I know that there isn’t a family who doesn’t fight. I think that my family is pretty perfect in it’s own way.  My brothers and I fight, my mom and I disagree, my dad doesn’t want me to date.   That’s the way my family is…that’s what perfect is for my family.

When I was 9 my oldest brother left for college.  I acted like I didn’t care. I was excited to have one brother down, and it would just be Nick and I.  I would help him pack and tell him I didn’t care that he was leaving. It’s not like he was going far, just to Kirkwood for a few years, he was only 10 min away, but as soon as we dropped him off at his apartment I lost it. The thought of not having my big brother to take me to the Xavier games, or having me be his chick magnet made me sad, and lost. At the time I thought I was losing Chris.  I figured he was gone for good, I wouldn’t even let my family talk about him without me breaking into tears. I didn’t realize how much I loved him until then, or even now.  He currently lives in Texas and is 24, I see him maybe 4 times a year.

My second brother, Nick, 21, is joining the Navy this January.  When Nick left for college it wasn’t as hard, he left to Iowa State University.. before Nick left he assured me he would call me, and I could text him when I needed help with things. I was going into middle school and I acted like I didn’t need that, I would be fine. I acted as if I was happy to have my brothers be gone to have the bathroom to myself, my parents to my self. All the attention would be on me, (not that it wasn’t before ;)) but,  when he was gone, and difficult things would come up that I didn’t feel I could come to my mom to talk about,  it helped to have him to know i could text. We lost connection for a year, and when he came back this summer and decided that he was going to join the Navy it hit me, it hit me hard, this was finally it. My brothers are old and growing up, and starting a real life, soon I will have nieces and nephews, and a sister-in-law. I’ve been scared to let go, but the thing is, I don’t have to let go.  I’m  growing up too, we are all growing up together, as a family, a whole, a team.

My parents and I are close sometimes, and at other times we are at each others throat. My dad and I were best friends from when I was born to about 9 years old.  I turned a little more into a girl, and we lost touch with the things we had in common. I thought dirt was gross, and why would I want to go fishing?? I turned to blush, bras, and boys!  This past year my dad and I have seemed to touch base again. I’m growing up, becoming mature, and he is realizing I can still be a tom-boy.  I’m also a girl who likes boys,  cars, and likes to shop. I have “teenage indifference”. My dad and I can now talk about all these things, the different things we enjoy, the things we have in common and the things we don’t.

My mom and I have a typical mother daughter relationship. Yes, we argue a lot. But just as I said about my dad we are finally realizing we have to listen to what both people have to say, we are taking the time to care about the things we don’t really care about. Sometimes I wish she payed more attention to me, and had more time for me. I’m lonely when she’s working, when she’s lonely I would rather be with friends, but there is always that time when we are together and we talk, and catch up on our lives.

I’m so proud to call my family mine. I have grown up in the most amazing environment. We go through tough things, fun, and sad times.  No matter what we will always get through it, we are together. We would do anything for anyone, my mom and dad have raised my brothers and I up so well, and we aren’t even close to being done. We learn something new everyday. I learn something from my brothers, and my parents, they have touched so many lives. What I’m trying to say is, don’t take these things for granted the way I have before. Don’t wait for someone to be gone before you are close with your family. Take the time to care, and be close. Show the love you have. Be thankful for what you have on this Thanksgiving.