Entering college this past fall, I thought that I was fully ready to put my past behind me and start a new beginning, a new life in a sense. I confidently said my goodbyes to my family as they began their trek back home to Lancaster County, convincing myself that I would be able to survive without them. After a mere week or so I began to realize how much an impact my family has had on me throughout my entire life. I took for granted seeing them every day, always having them there to talk to when I needed something, and just being able to spend time with them each and every day. By living relatively close to Eastern, I was able to go home a couple of times on weekends and also for Thanksgiving break. Each time I returned to that stoic, brick house, I took notice of all the miniscule aspects of my family that I greatly missed or had taken for granted.
Throughout my holiday break, I found myself yearning to just stay at home and be around my family. I would spend most of my evenings sitting watching Christmas shows or movies with my younger brother, Jeremy, who is nine years old. He would not admit to it by any means, but through his little actions I could tell that he missed me. Asking me to sit with him to watch television, teaching me to play his Nintendo games, and coming into my bed in the mornings showed me that deep down, there was a part of him that had missed me. The feeling that I had during those precious moments made me realize how much I really missed my little brother as well, no matter all the fights we have gotten into over the years. I also discovered how deep of a relationship that I have made with my mom over the past several years of my life. I even gave up a morning, where I could have happily slept in, to go painfully early, Black Friday shopping with her. I am the farthest thing from a morning person, but I gave up my precious extra sleeping hours just so I could spend that quality time with her. And on Saturday night I turned down the chance to accompany some of my friends to Hershey Park’s Christmas Candy Lane. That evening my family had planned to go and pick out our Christmas tree and spend the evening decorating it together. This would be the only chance I would have to do this before heading back to school for three weeks before break came around again. I stayed home that night because that was a tradition in my family. I cherished that last evening with my family more than one can imagine. I believe that you do not know what you have until it’s gone.
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