Tag Archives: Family

Why Me?

“Hey Mama!” I yell from my chair knowing that, that was the stupidest thing you can do to a hard working mom.

“What Honey? I am busy at the moment.” An exhausted voice exits the hallway to my left. “If you come to me I can help you.”

“Nevermind!” I yell back, because I can hear the strain in her voice. She must be really busy with her task that I don’t want to burden her any more.

Looking back down at my page of homework I ponder how I am going to complete this assignment. Our teacher wants us to explore our names. She wants us to discover why we are the way we are. But why did it have to be six pages long…that just seems ridiculous. You know how when you stare at a pot waiting for it to boil; I feel like that as I stare at this paper. Maybe magically it will be finished.

“Okay Honey, what’s the problem,” mom sits right down next to me. Her eyes are tired and her body hunches over itself, collapsing but still sitting tall. “You’ve been staring at this paper for 15 minutes with a very ugly face.”

I jokingly glare at her.

“I am sorry, but it is true,” she says with a small smirk across her mouth. “I needed a break from the laundry. Maybe your assignment is more interesting.”

“We have to write about ‘Why we are the way we are’.”

“Hmmm…. well you are tall because of your father. You have brown hair because of me. You have hazel eyes because of your grandfather. You have graceful hands because of your grandmother. And you are loud and annoying because of your siblings. Does this help?” Her smile growing with every statement.

“Mom…” jokingly I throw my pencil at her, but she avoids it and is clashes onto the floor. I am not loud or annoying…not really… “But yes, things like that help. But I think another part is towards my qualities.”

“Hmm…well one is… you are extremely competitive. I believe this is because this family likes to be the best of the best. However, for you I think, you truly believe you must earn everything you want in life. You don’t let people win, because they must want it for themselves. You don’t give up too easily, you try until you can’t physically move. I think you might get this from my side of the family. All of my brothers were extremely competitive and still are to this day.” Her eyes mist as her mind wanders back into her childhood…or somewhere which I was never a part of.

“This is great stuff mom. I do see myself as you describe me, but I always saw my competitive side as a weakness…in a way. People don’t like to lose. They tend to not like getting beat or pushed to their limits.  To me I am too competitive sometimes…” I do feel this way a lot. Sometimes friends leave me because I want to do something to the fullest and they just want to breeze through it.

“It is a strength Honey.  And don’t you ever forget it or change for someone. People who understand you know you have them ahead of yourself. You want them to succeed and accomplish it alone so they can be more confident within themselves.  You do what you do because you care.”

Tears are coming…but I can’t cry now. I kiss her on the cheek and then ask the next question. “A big thing is our names. Some people believe that our history behind our names will give a reason to why we are the way we are. Why did you give me my name?”

“Hmmm…. well Jane was for a past relative. Also I have grown to love the name Jane. It flows off your tongue as people call you. You should add in your paper the meanings of your names. Jane means: God is Gracious. Which is true to me, because I have you. Your last name is, of course your father’s name. It means: Peace Ruler.”

“And my other name?”

“Well Emily means: To strive, to excel, or rival. Which fits you perfectly.” She embraces me into a loving hug.

“Thank you, Mama. But why did you choose Emily?” squeezing her right back.

“Actually…I chose Emily because I liked the name. It has no family ties or relations to our ancestors. I guess God knew that the child inside me was an Emily, and he might have guided me to give you this name. You are forever my darling Emily.”

One last squeeze, and then the words flowed from my mind, to the pen, to the paper. A watched paper will not complete itself. Sometimes words from another can help you succeed, but from the beginning you must want it too.

Say Your Name

Needed…

My Favorite

The girl stepped away from her precious home and turned toward the unknown. She understood this would not be forever, and what she was doing was for a good cause. Someone outside of her immediate family needed attention, and she would willingly give it to them if it would help them feel better. She piled her overflowing belongings into her small silver car and then she slammed the trunk shut. She gazes back at the house that has cared and loved her for many years, filled with her family, and she steps into her automobile and drives off.

A month has passed in this new house, and she craves the love she has left. This girl sits in her bed centered in a large room; she has no one near her and she feels alone. There is sadness. She misses her other home dearly.  But she also recognizes the good she is doing in this new home, which she has known since childhood. Still she yearns to return while her heart continues to call out. She collapses into deep sleep, clouded with whispers of tears.

Days pass, and the girl continues her good work. She does this work out of love; the love for family. However, she still feels lonely. She has always been surrounded by  unconditional love, but now in her moments of free time she is alone. She has no dislike towards this house which needs her, but she wants to be in her real home.

Weeks, it has been almost two months and she has hit her breaking point. She dreads another night alone. She dreads another meal alone. She dreads another night where she will not hug someone she loves goodnight. She dreads not saying, “I love you” in person, because she has for these two months said it through text. Of course the work she has done has been highly needed and extremely wanted, but she feels she needs to return home. There were some good times in this new house, but the ache for her home is a greater need.

“Good bye, Grandma. I am sorry for leaving before you are better, but…”

“All is fine my dear. You have been the greatest ‘at home nurse’ I could have asked for,” the loving old woman says as she pulls her in. Whispering into her ear, “I understand who you need…go…”

With tear filled eyes she hugs her grandma back and runs to her car. She travels away from this temporarily house and back to her true home. She pulls up to the curb and there outside the front door stands the woman she needed most. Mother.

Sickness…take a pause…

I wouldn’t say I didn’t believe my mother when she said she was sick, it was more I didn’t understand the level of sickness she was having to endure. But now as I lay in my bed and attempt to write this post I feel the headache coming back to me. So sorry mom if I seemed at all humorous to you when you were in bed, because now I must endure the slow recovery to my normal health.

Have you ever said to yourself, “You are not sick. Just believe you are fine and the sickness will not be there.” Well In the past I told myself this for years. When I swam, my coach would tell me the same thing, “if you don’t want to be sick, then tell yourself you are not.” Easier said then done, however if worked perfectly fine for her. She said she would only allow herself to be sick in the Summer, because she only had coaching. I however swam year round and my only vacations were holidays, and I wanted those times to be with family, not in bed. So constantly pushing myself to not be sick, just made me extremely sick when my body couldn’t take it anymore. Which is why I think my body sometimes shuts down. It is telling me I need a rest and I should take a couple days.

For the past 2 years I have not experienced that shutdown. I believe it is because I have one less stressful thing in my life. As much as I love and miss swimming, I think it was the best thing for me to stop. Yes, I might have been able to make it to the Olympics or even just Olympic trials, but I would have never been able to experience life through my twenties. So getting injured, even though I thought my life was over, was the beginning of my true self.

It’s funny how when you have time, even “being sick time”, that you can look deeper into your life. You see the things you cherish more, and you discover what truly matters to yourself. Family, friends, art, dancing, love, work, etc. I have much to cherish, and without stopping and pausing ever so often I might forget.

So in a way I say, “Thank you Mom. You might have given me a sickness which produces the worst headache in the word. And the constant terrible sweats, and chills. But you have given me a pause to reflect what I love most. Which is you, and my siblings. I love you!”

The Dreaded DMV…

It has been a long time since I was at the DMV. It was six years ago, when I was getting my own permit. I was with my mom and, I don’t remember any of it. Now it is my turn to be the adult and bring my brother. He is old enough to sign up for a license. He is so much older, and I cannot really call him my baby bro anymore. It is an honor to take him, but I am now experiencing the dread of the DMV…the waiting with random people sitting around you.

There are two men next to me speaking in a  different language . Two women next to me another language. I have no idea what they are saying. A baby girl keeps staring at me, I guess, she is curious who I am. There is an Australian accent behind me and it is fun to listen to. But the continuous annoying voice saying, “now serving…letter/ #’s at window #” is pretty annoying.

No matter the happiness I feel for my brother, I really don’t want to be sitting listening to people. I probably wouldn’t feel so against it if my coffee hadn’t been awful. My brother chugged his and he almost died. (But his face was priceless after) I need more coffee…coffee makes everything better.

Band-Aids…

I believe I was four, and I remember placing each Band-Aid on any visible skin possible.  The room in darkness concealing my presences and securing my hiding place.  Every box empty and its contents stuck to my soft skin.  Hundreds of wrappers covering the floor crunching beneath my feet as I wiggle my legs.  As I extend my legs then Band-Aids expand tugging at my fair hair upon my arms and legs.  I remember being extremely proud of my hard work accomplished.  Of course I began with my hands, so attempting to open the Band-Aid’s wrappers took much skill as a child.  I believed I had mad skills and a new proud talent. I remember sitting on the floor applying band-aids continuously to open areas of flesh.

Suddenly the door swings open and the light engulfs me.  I don’t remember my mother’s reaction, but I do remember me smiling back, standing confidently, and relishing in my accomplishments. The sudden opening of the door was because I supposedly had been gone far too long and I was way too quiet.  I am a Band-Aid lover and I still am to this day.  Which means my family still hides the special band aids from me; though, I am allowed to use the $1 a box band aids. My mother forever called me Mad Max. Which is perfectly fine with me, because I see myself as the Band-Aid bandit!

To My Brother: Who Might Never Read This

This is a shout out for anyone with a younger sibling or a close friend like a brother/sister; in my case this is dedicated to my brother.

I have a baby brother, who might kill me for calling him that, who is also my best friend. I know personally he has another person he views as his best friend, and I am happy for him, but he is mine. We are almost five years apart, but we seem closer somehow. To help this claim, random girls will come up to me and ask how old my “older” brother is.  It is hilarious to see their reaction when I tell them he is seventeen.  I am perfectly fine with their comments, because this must mean I look younger, Bonus Points!!

Anyways back to brother.  Yesterday, I realized that I can always depend on him. I knew this, in the back of my head, but I didn’t register it until that moment. Basically he always has my back.

I am sure you reading this is stirring up memories of your past with a close friend or sibling.  Talking about my little bro makes me think about our childhood.  I have been told by several relatives that I used to carry him around everywhere, and when I would get tired I would plop down and hug him in my lap.  Sometimes I wish I could travel back in time and watch our bond mold. Also I wish I could travel back to tell my teenager self to listen to my mom and stop being a big sister jerk to him.  All teenagers go through this stage, don’t lie to yourself, that they are incredibly embarrassed of their family. Thankfully, my mom got through, because if I had continued with that attitude I would have never decided for him to be my best friend.

However, teenage “me” had some good reasons for being annoyed sometimes, because my little brother would make it his mission to drive me crazy!  He probably was just mimicking me, of how I used to treat our older brother. You remember those days when your sibling would make a continuous repetitive noise in your vicinity…and how you would sit there until your brain felt like it would explode.  Yes I had many of those experiences.  The only time I survived those obnoxious noises, was when I chimed in as well. My poor mother. I also have proof; we have video that my brother made, when he was littler, that he clearly says:

“Now you take this pen and throw it at your sister,”

At the time I was not aware this video was being made, but I did get hit with the yellow highlighter.

Okay, enough with memory lane, earlier I said that I had realized I could always depend on my brother in small things he did for me.  I was doing my homework and I was have trouble revising a sentence.  I turned and ask him if he could help me and without hesitation he stood up, walked over, helped me, and then returned to his own work.  Another moment was when I was making myself lunch and I decided I didn’t want all of it. I could see it in his face he didn’t really want food at the moment but he ate it.  Usually in this situation I am lucky if I get to take a bite before he uses those “puppy eyes” and I end up giving him it; he is a master of this technique. But as he ate the half of the grilled cheese for me, so I would not feel bad about wasting food, I remembered all the other times when he was there for me.

When I would have to meet new people and he would come along just in case no one wanted to talk to me. When I am sent out to do an errand for our mother, he always will come along with me. When we drive to school in the morning he will help me study for my test; I do the same for him but his smartness is different than mine.

Even though these are small simple things; it is the small simple things in life that matter the most. I am the luckiest sister in the world; because my brother, someone who will constantly be in my life, has also gained the title of friend. I would be a completely different person without him as my brother. So thank you to my mom for giving me a true friend and a brother forever. And hopefully my brother knows that I will always be there for him.  I know that he knows, that I am a bit over protective, but he is my baby brother and I love him. So, for anyone out there who has that person: sibling or friend, that you immensely enjoy their company, give them a hug, fist bump, pat on the back, or some other form of casual affection I am forgetting.  I am sure they know how you feel; but like everyone, everybody loves to receive small hints of gratitude.

So, in short, I have a younger brother and best friend all rolled into one; I for once am lucky.