1. A Favorite Memory
One of my favorite memories from the summer was our biggest family event: Uncle Paul and Aunty Myrna's 50th Wedding Anniversary Luau. It was a huge party that was months and months in the making; we rented out a hall for the event, invited anyone and everyone that we knew with even the smallest ties to that lovely couple, and had almost the entire family with us. We spent weeks preparing the food and making orders for decorations and the cakes and poi and flowers. I was granted the honorable responsibility of decorating the hall as well as emceeing the whole party, and the hall turned out beautifully- gold paper cranes and confetti and balloons everywhere, credit for which actually goes almost entirely to my Aunty Ada and Uncle Bill (but that's a story for another section and another time). I gave a speech that turned out splendidly, giving credit where credit was due and remembering all the important people that deserved remembering. It was amazing to see everyone's faces light up during that speech! It was equally amazing to have gotten to be the person running around making sure everything was happening the way it was supposed to be happening, welcoming everyone and talking, making announcements... I am so happy that I got to be a part of orchestrating the celebration of two wonderful people. It was so inspiring to see the love that my Aunty Myrna and Uncle Paul have shared with each other and with everyone around them... I hope I get to have a big 50th anniversary party someday! :)
2. A Lesson I've Learned
Something HUGE that I learned this summer is very simple: Turning 18 does not a true adult make. I really came to understand this summer that no matter how old I get, how great of a job I have, how many friends I acquire or how much knowledge I get from being in school for forever, I will always still my my Granny and Granpy's little girl. They have always essentially been my parents, and even though I am growing up, I will never outgrow my parents. I thought that when I turned 18 that a whole new arsenal of freedom and opinion and adult power would just fall into my lap, but I had to struggle to learn (and am still learning!) that a kid will always be a kid :)
3. A Wonderful Relative
The person I spent probably the most amount of time with this summer was my Granpy. I simply adore him- he is daddy to me in every way. He can get very grumpy and angry and sometimes mean, and he's ALWAYS very stubborn, but regardless of all these things, he loves me and I love him. He always makes sure that I'm taken care of. He has never failed to make sure that I have money in my wallet, food in my tummy and coffee in my cup (that's another thing- I love that I inherited my infatuation with coffee from him :). He always puts his family first (and with him, he doesn't discriminate with the word "family"- family is family, bottom line, no conditions) and that is something that I extremely admire, because he strives to make the best decisions for us even when it means sacrifices for him (like, maybe, not going fishing that day ;) ). I am so thankful that I have him to look up to.
4. A Realization
This one is really very simple. This summer, I realized that even though I'm not rich or famous or in love with anyone, my life is rich, I am actually famous, and my life is full of love. My life is richly endowed with friends and family I can count on, education that will take me far, and a perspective that always keeps my glass half full; I am famously adored by my family- so much so that family friends, relatives, people I've never even met before know who I am and what my aspirations are; I have a mom who loves me more than anyone in the world (literally) and is my best friend, a sister that I can beat up (even though I know she'll get me right back) and still love me, grandparents who would go to the ends of the earth for me, an uncle who is like a second dad that is always on my side, a best friend that I consider a sister in every way, and countless other people that pour love into my life always.
Thank God :)