When you have spent all of your holidays the same way for 19 years, change can be very hard. This holiday season, I have been dealing with cousins growing up and changing plans and missing loved ones who are no longer here. This Thanksgiving left me wondering: is change always a good thing?
I am no stranger to change. Not only do I constantly change my hair color, but I have also become very acquainted with more personal change. When I was in the tenth grade, my grandmother passed away from breast cancer. That year was my first big change during the holiday season. I have always spent the holidays the exact same way since I was born, going to visit my dad’s side for lunch and then my mom’s side for dinner. Nineteen years of routine. In tenth grade everything changed for the first time. We spent our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my grandma. It was heartbreaking and sad, but we knew we had each other.
Since then, everything has stayed the same. We have kept the same routine, up until last Christmas. On Christmas Day 2017, my grandfather passed away. It was a truly heartbreaking day when we used to celebrate it with such joy. This Thanksgiving was the first one without him.
Losing loved ones has not been the only change I have experienced during the holidays. Now since my cousins and I are growing up, in college and getting into relationships, some of us are spending the holidays a little differently. Two of my cousins spent their Thanksgivings with their significant others, and another cousin spent it with other family. There’s nothing wrong with what they chose to do, but it just made me sad to realize that we are all growing up and moving on to different things.
I do not like so much change all at once. I love the holidays because I get to see family that I have not seen in several months, but as we grow older, I am left wondering if we are also growing apart.
On my dad’s side, my brother and cousins reminisced on how we used to play on our Nintendo DS’s and pretend to be spies while playing hide-and-go-seek. We talked about how much fun we used to have and how now we just wish we could go back in time to “the good old days.” As we talked, I could not help but become a little sad because I knew that nothing would be the same. We are all in high school or college, preparing to venture out into the real world.
In the wise words of Stitch, “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” Those words never truly hit home with me until after this Thanksgiving. We all may be growing older and moving on to what our destinies entail, but we will never forget where we came from or who our real families are.