Why Family Is The Most Important Thing

Why Family Is The Most Important Thing

People who say they will always be there for you are not always there for you, but if it is two in the morning or four in the afternoon, I know I can always count on my family to be there.

Over the past 20 years of my life, many things have changed, including my friends, style, morals and jobs. With everything constantly changing around me, there is one thing that has always stayed the same: my family.

When I think about my happiest moments in life, they all involve my family. My relationship with my parents and siblings is something that I learn to treasure more and more every day. There are many important things in life, but the most important thing to me is family.

Your family is made up of people that bring out the best in you. Although you cannot choose your family, they are the people you can relate to the most. They are the people who are always cheering you on and truly want the best for you.

My family has made me who I am today. Without my dad pushing me to excel in school or my sisters forcing me to apply to Penn State, I would not be where I am today. They have challenged me, loved me and made me a better person. They have guided me through life and have constantly been my number one fans.

There has never once been a moment in my life where my family was not there when I needed them. They have been there with me through my best times, worst times and times where I did not think I had anyone. The more that I mature the more I come to the realization that people who say they will always be there for you are not always there for you. But if it is two in the morning or four in the afternoon, I know I can always count on my family to be there for me.

If I ever need a good laugh or cry I know I can always go to my sisters. They are not only my family but also my best friends, soulmates, role models and partners in crime. They know how to give the best advice and are always positive and smiling. Whenever I am having a bad day, I know I can count on them to brighten my mood or calm me down. They are truly two of the most beautiful people in the world, and their happiness gives me life.

Whenever I am stressed out or need advice, I can always go to my dad. My dad is my superhero. He is strong, intelligent, and sincere. He knows how to give the best advice and be the better person. He knows when I am stressed and need a reality check or when I am proud and need humbling. He has gotten me through the toughest times in my life and has made some of the best moments in my life possible. Without him, my life would be less colorful.

My mom is the person I go to for everything — and I mean everything. People sometimes make fun of me for talking to my mom six times a day, but if they knew our relationship, they would get it. My mom is gracious, kind, and full of life. She is the person that I call when I just need to talk. I can tell her everything, and she never judges me. She is truly an angel to my family and the best person I know.

Without each member of my family celebrating with me, crying with me, laughing with me and grieving with me, my life would simply not be the same. I would have no one to call at day-longs, no one to vent to, no one to share my accomplishments with, and most importantly, no one to love unconditionally.

Never forget the power of family. Make sure to thank your parents every day, call your siblings to see how they are, and cherish every moment you have with them. Without them, you would not be who you are today. Family is the best and most important gift in our lives, and it is important to embrace it every day.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Bradley

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Happy Birthday Peyton

We may be separated by distance by that has nothing on our Twinship.

Happy Birthday, Twinny!

I can't believe we are 19. It's insane! Our first year apart is almost over! That's crazy to think of!

This also means it's the first Birthday we've had in 19 years that we won't be together for... It's the first birthday that there isn't a baseball game, a play practice, or even a snow day that we get to spend together. In all reality, I feel like this day is going to a little sadder than normal.

I miss you.

And the fact that I have spent the last 18 birthdays with you makes me realize how weird it is to not have you by my side on this day. It's a weird feeling, and it makes me miss you even more. It also makes me realize how much of an impact you have had on my life. So Peyton, here's why I am so glad I get to share my birthday with you!

1. You Get Me

You always know what to say to make me feel better, even if I don't like what you're saying it always makes me feel better. Whether it is guy advice, friend advice, or any kind of life advice you get it. I could never thank you enough for getting me.

2. You Stand By Me

Literally, and figuratively. From walking me down our Senior Red Carpet, to coming from your practices straight to my golf matches. You have been a huge support system. Thank you for picking up my calls whenever I have an issue or just need to hear your voice.

3. You Help Me

Whether this is baiting my hook when we go fishing or answering all the random questions I have about sports. You also never judged when I was too scared to drive to school after the ice storm and when I backed my car into the side of the garage door you didn't make me feel bad about it you just let me ride shotgun without saying a word.

4. You Act Like My Big Brother

Even though I am technically 1 minute older, you have always stood by me and protected me. Whether that's sitting by my side after countless surgeries and filming all the hilarious moments, or getting the burn cream after I burned the crap out of my hand. Thank you for walking me to class our freshman year. Thank you for defending me when that one freshman told everyone we were dating. Thank you for walking with me at graduation when you could have easily walked with your friends. Thank you for being the best brother I could have ever asked for. Without you, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

5. You Let Me Be Your Friend

You always let me join in when you and the guys got together. You never judged when I would just sit and talk with yall. You made me feel welcomed and apart of your "squad" and that means the world to me. To know that when I needed to be with the guys I was always welcome made my Senior year a lot easier than it should have been. Thank you for never judging when I abused that power. Thank you for being more than just my twin.


I appreciate you so much and am so blessed to have you as my Twin. I know you will never judge when I cry everytime we get reunited, and I know that you will always be there even if you are hundreds of miles away. I can't wait to see you again. I love you! So in the wise words of S.E. Hinton " Stay Golden Ponyboy, Stay Golden".

Oh and Happy Birthday!!

Cover Image Credit: Michelle Turner

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5 Lessons Learned From My One-Eyed Superhero, Secret Identity: My Mother

Things happen in life. If you continuously play the victim card, you are your own worst enemy.

Born on August 28th, 1955, my mother was only two months old when she lost the vision in her right eye due to a fatal incident. As a result of limited medical resources available in her day, she was subjected to a lifetime of monocular vision with a prosthetic eye as a substitution for the right eye. Today, at her age of 62, my mother continues to inspire me to push beyond my limitations, and she is a living example of individuals that use their "disabilities" to be the driving force towards prosperity.

Saying that, here are a few things that I learned from my mother:

1. Never let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your dreams

Growing up, my grandmother was my mother's harshest critic. She was worried about how the world would perceive her as an inferior being and that she would never find true love because obviously “having only one eye makes you less deserving.” To prevent my mother from feeling abnormal my grandmother, being the caring mother she was, would advise my mom to refrain from pursuing a professional career as well as indulging in absurd notions such as love.

Regardless of the circumstances, she persisted and successfully pursued a career as a Registered Nurse and later continued to specialize in Anesthesiology, becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Currently, at the age of 62, she works around the clock to ensure a prosperous and secure future for my sister and me.

2. Treat people the way you want to be treated

My mother once told me about an incident that took place in her 5th grade poetry class that made her lifelong motto. She remembers the details vaguely, but that day, her class was reciting a poem about a blind woman and her experience with lavish commodities. Being the only one-eyed student in the classroom, the teacher calls upon my mother to recite the poem and ends the lesson by saying the moral of the poem was that, “regardless of the luxuries things a one-eyed individual may own, they will always be perceived as inferior unattractive beings.”

She came home and cried herself to sleep that day, but she promised herself that she would never make any individual feel vulnerable like she did that day reciting the poem. That she will always respect, value, and cherish the individuals she encounters in her lifetime.

3. Family comes first

Take a step back and think about the one factor that was always constant in your life, regardless of all the ups and downs you encountered, and the choices you made. The love you experience from a family member is the most genuine, effortless, and perpetual kind of admiration.

4. Forgive and forget

Things happen in life. If you continuously play the victim card, you are your own worst enemy. Plus, harboring unforgiving thoughts comes at an emotional and a physiological cost. Thus, by cultivating forgiveness, you can bring an abundance of benefits to your health and lead a happier life.

5. Importance of humility and gratitude

As Nancy Leigh DeMoss once stated, “One of the fundamental qualities invariably found in a grateful person is humility. Gratitude is the overflow of a humble heart, just as surely as an ungrateful, complaining spirit flows out of a proud heart” (DeMoss, 2009).

It's as simple as the two-word phrase, "thank you," to convey the notions of humility and gratitude. Through the use of these two fundamental components, you can prove to be an active leader that inspires growth and change in the world.

Cover Image Credit: Personal

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