The past week and a half have been a lot for me. I have attended my first funeral, my brother went to the ER, and my Great-Aunt needed a ride to the hospital. Now is the time for me to be focusing on school and getting everything ready for that, but when it rains, it pours. Everything is happening all at once. I can't put into words how crazy this past week has been. It has been one thing after another. But I guess, that's just life.

My best friend's mother passed away unexpectedly last week. She texted me about it while I was at work. I couldn't believe it at first. I was in shock. It didn't hit me until I finished my break and got back to work. I ended my shift in hysterics; I was crying all throughout the store. I had to answer customer questions with red-rimmed eyes, tear-stained cheeks, and a wavering voice. I didn't know what to say or do. I just wanted to see my best friend. I couldn't even imagine what she was going through. On the drive home, I sobbed the entire way home. It was the most vocal, most emotional cry I've ever had.

The craziest part of it all was that I just saw her mom a few days before she died. I kept thinking that if I went to her house, her mom would be sitting on the couch watching TV. It just didn't feel real. I hung out at her house with her sister and our other best friend. The four of us watched 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' on repeat, dumb James Charles videos, two play productions from our high school, and try not to laugh videos. I have to say, I haven't laughed that much in a while. We were all having a good time, not even thinking about what had happened. There were brief moments, but that was expected with something like this. I just needed her to know that I am here for her and her family, and I think that helped her a little.

The day after this unexpected death, my brother was taken to the ER. He had had some eye problems for a few days prior, trouble moving them from side to side quickly, not being able to sleep, having to wear sunglasses at all times of the day, and fearing driving. He went to an eye center to get everything checked out, but he fainted when they put drops in his eyes. He was nervous and never had drops put into his eyes like that before.

When he came to, the specialist told my dad that he needs an MRI. That what is causing this eye pain could be MS, which is a disease that eats away at the nervous system. They went to the ER and I went home with my little sister. We were texted updates and my brother and dad didn't get home until nearly ten o'clock at night. They were dealing with this for nine hours. It was a long day for both of them. We were told that the MRI came up clear, which was a huge relief, and a neurologist prescribed some steroids to help the pain. He has since been taking it easy at home, taking baby shifts at work to help the healing process, and taking frequent naps. And with periodical check-ups, he's said to have a quick recovery.

While my brother and dad were busy with that, my grandma called the house and said that their car wouldn't start, and my great-aunt needed to get to her doctor's appointment. My aunt is on her third type of cancer and I wanted to do anything I could to help with that process. So, my sister and I drove to my grandma's house, picked her up, then went to my aunt's condo. We drove to the hospital for her appointment and she thanked me many times. I said it was not a problem. Since I'm away at school for most of the year, I'm not around to help with this any other time. I was glad I was able to help her through this. This round of cancer has been her worst so far, and I was glad I could be there. Even if it was only a ride.

I am writing this article to communicate a message: life can change at any moment, so don't take the things and people you love for granted. Hug your mom when she wants. Let your parents move you into your college dorm. See your grandparents regularly if you are able. Be with family or friends every day. Make memories, good or bad, you will remember them all. Take countless pictures because those are what you are going to look back on in the years to come. When you're older, you're not going to regret spending all this time with your loved ones. You're going to regret not doing it sooner.

Family is the most important part of any life, don't take them for granted. If they live far away, make a point of visiting them. Just make a point to be active in their lives. It'll be so, so worth it.