The Overdue Apology My Family Deserves

The Overdue Apology That My Family Deserves Because I Always Forget To Call Home

They're a phone call away, and most times I can't even find time for that.

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I have an older sister, so I never had to wonder what going off to college looked like. No, I didn't get to fully experience it with her (seeing as how she was two and a half hours away at UNCW), but I got enough of a glimpse into her life that I understood everything that came along with going off to college. That said, even having an older sibling go through different stages of life before you never fully prepares you for what comes next.

When I went to college, I was overwhelmed by everything thrown at me. It wasn't the first time I'd worked, been a full-time student, and had extracurricular activities on top of that, but everyone expected my very best every second of every day. That was new for me. Not that in high school I hadn't wanted to be that way (I was a low key perfectionist in that regard), but there was never the pressure like there was in college.

So as time went on and I got lost in the whirlwind of classes, work, and campus organizations, the past 18 years of my life growing up in small-town North Carolina got pushed to the back burner.

I'm sure there are some people judging me insanely hard at this point, saying, "how could you possibly forget your family?" Well, don't worry, I never forgot them, I just seemingly forgot that there was this nifty technology called cell phones and that with a simple press of a button it would call home. What that means is that there would be long periods of time when I wouldn't talk to my family.

Never once did I forget them, or love them any less, I just failed to prioritize giving them a call with all of my new found freedom and responsibilities.

Sophomore year of college, I told myself I was going to be better and call my parents more often. Notice, I never gave myself a set amount of times to call every week. Same as with any terribly, unspecific goal I've ever made I failed to live up to it, but this time around it was even worse because I started getting more involved and my time was spread thinner. Thus making the already limited phone calls dwindle even further.

This pattern continued on as my parents would complain and beg me to call them more often, but I still failed to make it a priority. Maybe it was because I knew I would never live up to my older sister, who called every single night on her way home from work, or maybe I did get lost in all that I'd committed myself to. Either way isn't an excuse, and I knew that. I just never found it in me to change the habit.

Well, that was until this semester. I don't know what changed between fall semester junior year and now, but now I'm the one calling my parents countless times a week to complain or talk to them about my life. By no means am I perfect in calling, and sometimes our conversations don't last more than a couple of minutes, but for once I've taken the initiative to carve out time in my day to remind my parents that I haven't forgotten them and I do love them.

So to my family, I'm sorry it took me nearly three years to wise up and realize that, no matter how busy I am, I always have time to call home. I'm sorry I got caught up in the life I built for myself in Chapel Hill and occasionally forget about the place I called home for 18 years. I'm sorry if I ever made you feel as if I don't love you because that is so far from the truth.

Please know that I can't promise you that I'm going to call home every single night, but I can promise you I will be better and call more often. I love you all so much and am beyond thankful for the support and encouragement you never fail to give.

To all the freshman, and the seniors who are graduating in May then heading off to college, I don't care how busy you think you are or what all you're involved with, never forget to call home. I don't care if it is a minute long conversation about what you ate for breakfast that morning, call home because your parents deserve that much. They understand you're busy and have a life at school, but they care for you and love you. Show them the same respect.

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15 Reasons Your Grandpa Might Be The Greatest Person In Your Life

He loves you so much.
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Grandpa. The goofy old guy who has been with you since you were born.

Maybe he lives close or maybe he lives far. Maybe he's quiet and reserved or maybe he's a complete goofball. Maybe you see him all the time or maybe he's up there watching over you. No matter the circumstance, it is important to realize that he's probably one of the best people in your life.

1. He's hilarious

Nobody can make you laugh harder than grandpa. Whether it's a hot take on a sports game or a great story, he's always there to make you crack up.

2. He's smart (and knows more than you've ever known in your lifetime)

You think you know a lot... And then you talk to grandpa. I'm telling you, this man knows everything you know times a million.

3. He raised your mom or your dad well

You may have some pretty incredible parents... Well, guess who raised them? Your grandpa is half of the reason your parent is as amazing as they are... That deserves a lot of credit and appreciation.

4. He lets you eat the good stuff

As a kid and now. As a kid, you'd get all the candy or snacks you wanted and we just kept it between us. Even now, half a quart of ice cream for each of us is a quality snack at grandpa's house.

5. He has shown you what true, beautiful love is

Whether your grandma and his partner in crime is still here or is watching over you, the love they've had for longer than your parents have even been alive is an inspiration. Since you were a child, you've had some pretty amazing role models to look up to.

6. He has however many grandkids and still keeps up with you

Whether you're the only grandkid or 1 of 30, somehow he always stays up to date about what's going on in your life.

7. He's genuinely interested in your life

You never have to feel like you're talking grandpa's ear off about your new job, your school or your relationship. He's all ears because he truly cares about you.

8. And swears to hunt down any person who hurts you

If you haven't got the "I'll kill anyone who hurts you" spiel from your grandpa, I think he's grandpa-ing wrong. You can cross me. You probably can't cross dad, but if you happen to slip through the cracks, you will not cross grandpa.

9. He's been there for all of your milestones

Whether it was your elementary talent show or your high school graduation, he's been there to watch you.

10. His job is just to love you

Grandparents' job as a whole is to love and spoil their grandkids. It makes sense why it is considered the best job in the world... And your grandpa is probably really good at it.

11. And he might be your biggest fan

No one cheers louder or high fives you harder than your grandpa, no matter if you're playing a sport or playing the piano. He is your number one fan and it is important everyone knows it.

12. He's known you your whole life

He's watched you go from a tiny baby to the incredible person you are now. And hopefully, he knows that a lot of who you are now is because of him.

13. He'd do anything for you

Name it and he'll do it. That's what people who love you like a grandpa loves their grandkid do.

14. He always has a smile for you

Sometimes your parents get mad at you and they're not happy to see you. No one is 100 percent excited to see you every time they see you... Except grandpa.

15. He loves you so incredibly much

The biggest and best reason he is so amazing is that he loves you. Unconditionally, always. You don't get a lot of those people in your life, so it is important to cherish them and love them back as strong as you can.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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True Tales Of Growing Up In A BIG Family

Spoiler alert, I get tackled a lot.

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I was born into a fairly large family. I have upwards of twenty-something first cousins, many of who are around the same age as me. It has honestly been both a blessing and a curse to have so many people around me all the time. Some of my favorite memories come from family gatherings where all of my cousins were there. However, since most of my cousins are male, there has also been a lot of physical violence where people get hurt, even if the intentions were innocent. I have so many stories about my family, some of which I won't share here because they are a little bit inappropriate, but others are too good not to share.

The first story I want to share is from this past Easter. Most of my cousins on my Dad's side were at my Papa's house celebrating the holiday. There was so much food we could probably feed a small army. Some of the older cousins decided that we were going to play a game of whiffle ball. All of the cousins who were playing were at least sixteen and some of them were much older. Many of us had or are playing sports in High School or College so this game of whiffle ball got extremely competitive very fast. I ended up being the Umpire/pitcher because I played softball for so long. The game ended with my brothers winning and my other cousins upset that they lost, but it was still one of the memories I will cherish the most even though I definitely threw out my shoulder pitching.

I can remember playing a game of football on Thanksgiving when I was young (maybe five or six). This game, not unlike the whiffle ball game we played at Easter, got super competitive super fast to the point where even I, as a six-year-old, was being pushed and tackled to the ground by much older boys. I honestly can't remember much about that game, maybe I got hit in the head too much, but I do remember having so much fun playing with my cousins.

I've been on a cruise two times in my life, both times with my extended family. One cruise was to Mexico when I was very little. What I remember about that cruise was getting extremely sea sick and that the cleaning staff would make towel monkey on our beds. The cruise was to Alaska when I was a lot older, I think I was fifteen. Since I and my cousins were much older on that cruise, we caused a lot more trouble and were able to get away with it. Every night we would go to the pool and swim. Then, we would go to the buffet and only eat pineapples and mac and cheese. We, also, may have or may not have gone into a bar to sing karaoke. While the cruise was fun, I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't with my family.

While sometimes they can be a pain, having so much family has taught me a lot about communication and playing right. Again, I only have scratched the surface here in regards to the plentiful stories I have, many of which are so much funnier. I love my family so much and I would never trade that in for the world.

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