Love, compassion, loyalty, craziness, kindness, friendship. These are only a few words I could use to describe my family. I come from a mixed family of four boys and three girls, of which I am the youngest. It is rather easy to say that while my siblings were still in the house as I grew up, there was never a dull moment. From crazy Christmases where my brothers pulled me off my feet as I tumbled down the stairs because we were so eager to get to the presents, to being chased around the house as my family called me “turd in a punch bowl”, our home seemed to deliver constant laughter and enjoyment.
When I was younger my brothers decided a great nickname for me would be Lizardbreath. For many, this name would probably be embarrassing and intimidating, but I loved it. I felt it was a badge of honor awarded by my siblings that showed how special I was to them, so I didn’t mind at all. They are all much older than me, so anything they did was amazing and I wanted to be just like them. Although there is a sixteen year age gap between my oldest brother Andy and I, my family never failed to include me in their lives over the years.
Like many people, as I have grown up I have experienced many ups and downs. When I hit high school, I definitely had a few troubled years where I was just trying to find myself and, in a sense, I cut myself off from a lot of people, even my beloved family. I never stopped loving them, but I just didn’t want them embedded in my life or in the things that I did. Although I took them and their love completely for granted, they never stopped loving me or believing in me. That is what makes a real family.
My family shows support in anything another member does, and we support each other no matter what. Although my family is scattered across the state of Indiana, the love we have for each other never weakens. If one is going through a hard time, you can expect a phone call or nice message of encouragement from the others. I know this is because of how we were raised and how amazing and gracious my parents are. I have always been taught that in the end, after all the trials, tribulations, and mistakes, the family is there no matter what. I genuinely believe this because it has been proven true time and again by my family.
I just recently started my first year of college and it is such a change. Before I came to Ball State I got a nice little speech from each of my brothers that really let me know how great it was going to be and how proud they were of me. I know through everything I have support from my family and that is such a comfort. When I go home now, it makes me realize how much I love my home and family. I am so proud and blessed to have the family that I do. I can confidently say I believe in the power of family, and if home is where the heart is, then my home is with my family.
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