We must learn to stop taking things for granted

Living 2,490 miles away from your family is tough. Trust me, I know this because that is the exact distance that I currently live away from my family. My family and I have grown very close over the years; living in three different countries and seven different houses, you tend to grow very close. I thought my family had taught me everything that I need to know possible, yet for some strange reason, I find myself learning new things every day.

The most important thing is that I am starting to appreciate the small things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my parents, but I never fully understood it. I grew up with a stay-at-home mum and a travel-crazy dad, but it never fully occurred to me the sacrifices that they made to help raise me. It wasn’t until I started my freshman year of college that I realized what my dad truly was missing out on and why my mum missed having a job.

My dad is always traveling, and as a kid, I never understood why he couldn’t always be there for my concerts, sporting events or even my birthday. It was normal for me to get a call from my dad on my birthday, wishing me a good day and that he wished he could be there. But I think as I started school and I saw all my friends’ dads home for their birthdays, I couldn’t help but wonder why my dad couldn’t be there.

It wasn’t until I was in older and in high school that I started to understand. I understood that my dad worked in order for my mum to always be there for us and for us to have the life that we have. But still, a part of me, no matter how small, was frustrated when my dad wasn’t there. I was happiest when he was there.

So when I left for college and I got call after call from my little sister telling me about her day or volleyball game is when it hit me. This is how my dad must feel. The feeling is knowing that you are there, but not really. I learned that and that’s when it became hard.

Unlike a lot of friends here, I stay at school for fourmonths. I do not go home for Thanksgiving or fall break or have weekends with my parents. There are four months until I get to see my family. Lucky enough for me, my dad works out of Pittsburgh a lot so he will come up to see me quite often. For that, I am grateful.

My mum is another story. This woman has given her blood, sweat and tears to be there every single day for us. When I was born, my mum stopped working. I am very aware that, for a lot of my friends, both their parents work. So having my mum there all the time was a blessing. Now that I am living away from home, I can’t call her because I forgot my homework on my desk. I can’t see her, but I can call her.

That is something that I learned as well, that having my mum there whenever I needed a hug because I was sad was something that I didn’t have anymore.

I also understood why my mum missed working. She had given up her career so my dad could have one and we could have a mum who was always there. So don’t take what you have for granted because you never know what you have until it’s gone.


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