I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written an article, but I was focused on spending my holiday break with my family to the fullest extent possible. I just thought I would write my article this week in the style of a love letter to my parents and each of my siblings.
To my dad, AKA Mick,
You are the man I aspire to be someday. We are very different sometimes. You like to work outdoors, and I would rather tan outdoors! But we become very similar in our personalities. I have learned from you that hard work will always pay off, and you can't take anything you are given in this life for granted. When you are given a gift, you say thank you and find some way to give back an even greater gift. Dad, you are the one person in our house who will sit and binge watch Real Housewives and other reality TV with me. You don't do it because you necessarily like the shows, but because we have the best laughs making fun of the shows and we can always be ourselves with each other. If I can even be HALF of the man you are someday, then that is all I will want is to make you proud of me.
To my mother, AKA Missy,
I've never met a person with more compassion in my entire life. I have never seen you give anything less than your all for your husband, children, extended family, and pets. Whenever I have a bad day or just need to cry, you pick me right up and make me laugh and remind me that the sun always shines on the other side. When I was a kid you used to sing to me, "You Are My Sunshine" when I couldn't fall asleep or had a bad day. The last line of that song has always stuck with me. "Please don't take my sunshine away." Mom, I pray that nothing will ever take my sunshine away, because that is how important you are to me. I know I am sassier than any diva, and I'm a bit of a drama queen, but all I ever want to do until the day I no longer walk this Earth is to make you smile and give you back all of the sunshine you've given me since I was born.
To my older sister Mckenna,
Being only one school year apart has made us basically like twins. We've gone through everything at the same time, and I can't seem to help but follow you wherever you go seeing as I even go to the same college as you now! But I couldn't have asked for a better sister and older sibling than you. You have always been rational, kind, intelligent, basically everything I could ever hope to be. But the one thing that you taught me that not even our parents have been able to teach me is forgiveness. I used to walk around with the biggest chip on my shoulder, and never forget when somebody did me wrong. But you have taught me that that's no way to live life, and to forgive and move on with life will ultimately make me the happiest with myself. You continue to be a role model for me and I hope that I can be just like you someday.
To my younger brother Keegan,
You are the one person on this planet that I can be the most like myself with. Since the beginning, you've been my video game partner, movie date, and just the only person who understands how geeky I really can be. My forever playmate and best friend. Now you're a junior in high school and will be preparing to choose a college to attend. I can't believe how you've grown up on me and you even surpass me in maturity sometimes (sometimes is the keyword). You've made me the proudest big brother I can be and I hope I can be a role model to you for as long as possible. I know you'll make me proud of everything you do in life as you already have.
And to my youngest brother Brody,
I remember when mom and dad told me and the other two that we were going to have another addition to the family, and we all said, "a new dog?!" And they said, "No, a little sibling!" I remember being so excited to have another younger sibling and let me just say it has been the most special thing to see you grow up in front of me. You are in the 5th grade now, and you'll be in middle school next year. It makes me a little sad that I am away from home and at college.
I miss the days when I didn't have to worry about being at school and figuring out a career for myself, and all I had to do was see your smiling face to remind me that I had someone so small looking up to me. But witnessing you grow up as you have so far has been beautiful for me. It's like having a kid of my own (kinda), and I know that we are eight years apart but we will always be as close as we are today. I will be 26 when you are graduating high school someday, but I want you to know that I will never forsake the bond that we have.
You've always been there for me no matter what sort of craziness I've gotten myself into, and I will never be able to repay you nearly enough. Just know that I will always treasure the bond that we have as a family, and I will continue to carry everything that you've all taught me. I will apply those lessons to every aspect of my life. I will catch you all whenever you fall and be everything I can be to make you all happy and proud to call me your son/brother. I love you all more than the sky loves the stars.