I Wouldn't Make It Through Thanksgiving Without My Siblings

I Wouldn't Make It Through Thanksgiving Without My Siblings

I could not live without my brothers and sisters

As Thanksgiving break ends, I have realized how much I lean on my siblings during the holiday season. Especially because my family hosts Thanksgiving, the days leading up to the feast can be stressful, but my siblings make it more bearable.

My extended family is very large and we usually host about thirty family members for dinner on Thanksgiving. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is appropriately called the worst day of the year by me and my siblings because tensions tend to run high. My mom wants to make sure that the house is perfect, so when something is not done to completion, frustration starts to become apparent. We usually spend the whole day cleaning the house, making sure everything is in place. Because cleaning is not the most fun thing to do, everyone in the house starts to get cranky in about an hour. While all of us are testy during this day, if I did not have my siblings by my side cleaning with me I would lose my mind.

While cleaning, we try to play music and make jokes to keep the mood light-hearted and make the day as painless as possible. It is inevitable that one of us will get mad at the other, but within five minutes we will be laughing with (or at) each other again.

Another aspect of the holiday that my siblings make more enjoyable is the overwhelming Thanksgiving day. Because there are so many aunts, uncles, and cousins that come to our home on Thanksgiving, the amount of people can get fairy overwhelming. Whenever I feel overwhelmed in the crowd of people, I can always go find one of my siblings to talk to. They are a face of comfort in a time when I am very out of my comfort zone.

There are many times when I take my siblings for granted, but reflecting on Thanksgiving and the fast approaching Christmas season, I am more grateful for them then ever.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Brett

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.

Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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5 Things That Never Get Old About Having A Younger Brother

They aren't always as evil as you think!

My little brother can be my best friend or my worst friend, it depends on the day. In all honesty, ever since we both have grown into the young adults are, we've become super close. As kids, we would fight day-in and day-out. We absolutely hated each other.

Since this weekend is my little brother's birthday and last year of being a teenager, I thought it'd be nice to highlight the five best parts of having him as my little brother. (They aren't always as evil as you think)

1. Being openly honest

My brother and I, and all of my siblings for that matter, are brutally honest people. I think the honesty between my brother and I keeps our relationship so great. We aren't afraid to tell each other how we feel, honest opinions on something him or I have done that has bothered one of us. Honesty is key to any relationship and has made us closer as siblings.

2. Laughs. Lots of laughs

My little brother is one of the funniest humans I've ever met. His quick wit and sarcasm make me laugh on the worst days. All of my siblings and I share the same sense of humor so after one joke being cracked, I'm rolling on the floor laughing.

3. Contagious creativity

My little brother is a creative genius when it comes to doing what he loves. If he's cooking food in the kitchen, it's some masterpiece made from scratch that I couldn't do even if I had all day to do it. He owns his own clothing business, at age 19 might I add, and his creativity allows him to design and create beautiful artwork on clothing. Day in and day out I witness his creativity touch people around him to make them more inspired.

4. Unapologetically expressive

My brother is one of a kind and how he expresses himself is really quite amazing. The lack of carelessness he has for other's opinion is eye-opening. He dresses the way he wants, acts the way he wants and does what he wants because it makes him feel good. My brother will wear his hair in pigtails... because he wants to. He rocks it, too.

5. Someone I can go to for anything

Us siblings have to stick together. This is the beauty of having so many. Since my younger brother still lives at home, he's always there when I need to talk, vent, or need advice. My friends may know me pretty well, but my brother knows me better. Always knowing I have him to talk to for advice or troubleshooting is a great feeling.

Cover Image Credit: Jillian Monczynski

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