S: My Life
FC: Journey Through Time | And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. | -Abe Lincoln | Jamie Farren
1: Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.
2: Family | I hear the sound of water hitting up against the side of the boat, with each enormous wave brings freezing cold mist hitting me on each side of my face. Not knowing what would happen if what seemed like the very unstable raft to me tipped over. I was white water rafting for the first time in my life, and I was scared. | When my mother and father announced to my siblings and me that we were going to be taking a vacation to Kennebec River Maine to go white water rafting at first I was excited. On the way up to Maine we all imagined what it was going to be like and spoke what we pictured. We finally got to the “Rafting Home Base” and the staff was waiting for not only us but two or three other families too. We had to first get our equipment including a life jacket, paddle, and even a helmet. Next we had to watch most of the staff give us demonstrations on how to use everything and go over safety precautions. My older sister and I of course weren't really listening but instead choosing the funny one we would prefer to be the leader of our raft. Once the talking part was over we finally all loaded into the uniquely painted bus and headed to the river. This next part is where it all started. I’m sure some thought it was thrilling and they would go again tomorrow if they could while it turned others in a different direction. A direction where it was scary and they thought they would for sure fall out. | Before I knew it I was holding on to the handle on the side of the raft for dear life and screaming my head offI was supposed to be paddling. We dipped and turned every which way and again I was supposed to be paddling but all I was capable of doing at the time was hollering. All of a sudden I heard the leader of my raft yell “Hold on tight, young grasshoppas, this black hole or dip coming up is known as BIG MAMA!!” All that was running through my head was, “Oh lord, you've got to be kidding me. I barley survived all that, and compared to Big Mama it was all nothing!!!” Once I glanced up from the water covering the entire bottom of the raft the head or front of the boat wasn't visible. That second in time everything froze and it felt as if the front half of the raft had been cut off and now it was missing. At the next second my stomach dropped from its normal position and it seemed as if it ended up in my smallest pinkie toe. Then as my stomach dropped, my half of the raft also plundered too. It felt as if I was on the inside of a gigantic wave. Water violently splashed at me from every direction. I heard the smack of it against my face, my bare arms and legs, every body part. The next second the raft had reached its drifting level and it seemed unreal, but we were in what seemed like a pond. With very minimal waves, just ripples, we floated along and I thought it couldn't be true to transition into that calm waterway. | The river ride had come to an end and we had to get out of our raft. Going into this trip I wasn't too over enthusiastic or particularly happy to go white water rafting, but in the end I absolutely loved it. I have a great story to tell that I will never forget. This was one of the best family vacations evergood choice mom and dad!!!
3: Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.
4: Friends | When I first heard of the opportunity to write about any journey, I didn't want to just write about one instance in time. Instead, a true journey which meant everything to me, one friendship that got me through every hard time. Just like any relationship, my friendship with Tori had its good times, and also its not so good times. I have called Tori my best friend since the 6th grade. Way back then I am pretty sure “best friend” was just a title you gave to one girl that week and someone else the next week. It is much more then that now. People say it all the time without meaning it, but I think Tori has taught me the true meaning of friendship. She has taught me not through telling me a specific definition of ‘best friend,’ but it has just come to me over time. | Tori has been here throughout everything, and I definitely appreciate her for that. There have been those nights where I have called her balling crying and she stayed on the line for as long as it took to make me feel better. Even if she didn't want to or had other plans, she would cancel them in the matter of a heartbeat for me. The part that matters is that she was always there, always. We have gotten extremely close and I can tell her everything and anything. She is like a third sister to me. | With any sort of relationship come disagreements too. Tori and I have gotten in countless arguments. Mostly about stupid reasons like boys or even candy (Haha). We always make up or make things right and in a short amount of time we end up laughing about it all. We share many similarities that make us so close. Common interests between us are sports, clothing, music, television channel, hobbies, and many more. We live exceptionally close to each other which make hanging out easy and convenient. We used to play the same exact sports when we were younger where it wasn't competitive, and it was a lot of fun. Since we arrived at high school we don't play the same sports because they have grown more competitive. | When I think about the entire journey through mine and Tori's friendship, a time that instantly comes to mind is the American Idol concert. For my 13th birthday she got me tickets to see the top 12 American Idol contestants! In preparing for that night we were sure to make posters and even coordinate our outfits. Overall, it was a great night and I will never forget it. | Tori is like a sister to me. She has two younger brothers and they too are like my brothers. Just like my siblings and I, me and her little brothers get into fights too. Tori and I don't need to “call ahead of time” when we want to hang out, and our parents understand that. It doesn't bother them if they come home from work to find out that she took the bus to my house or vise versa. For the most part we talk everyday after school, share everything, and can tell each other everything. She doesn't have a sister, only two brothers, so she has even told me at times that I was like the sister she never had. In class, we can exchange glances and understand exactly what was trying to be said. I love Tori!
5: Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
6: 5th Birthday | For my 5th birthday I experienced the party my mother had always dreamed of as a child. It was a princess party! Bunnies of white brown and black, baby goats, a half dozen baby chicks, and a pony were included in this great birthday bash. It was almost like Davis's Farmland was brought right to my back yard, and I loved it. I absolutely thought I was “something special” that day. | Waking up on the hot morning of June 27th I was ready for a day to remember. For the morning portion of the day I could barely contain myself, but there was so much to do if a party was occurring in just a few short hours. Balloons had to be thrown everywhere, streamers must be hung from every fence post, and the mailbox had to be inviting to every guest coming! | At the very last moment before the party started, a big trailer full of interesting smells and exotic animals (that's what they seemed like at the time to a 5 year old) pulled in the driveway. Finally guests started pouring in, which made me even more excited. All of my friends arrived from school, and even my family's friends. | Not only were the pony's there to look at, but we were able to ride them! I was sure to add a pretty pink bow to the pony’s mane and even name it Susie. All my friends lined up and couldn't wait for their ride on the pony. Since I was the birthday girl, of course I was able to go first and get the longest turn. Each ride lasted a few minutes and each person was walked around a circle in my yard. Everyone was so focused on the pony that the adorable other animals weren't being paid attention to. The chicks were waddling around and chirping in their little pen-like area. Meanwhile the bunnies were hopping around, looking all cute and cuddly. The goats weren't a personal favorite of anyone's because they smelled horrific except my brother loved them. Overall, it wasn't a birthday party my mother wanted, but I too greatly enjoyed myself.
7: Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. | http://janakunz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/Tor_13.jpg
8: My True Hero | Could you imagine a job where your life is on the line every day and you never know if it's your last? That's my cousin Jason's job by choice and he is truly my hero for his courage. Don't get me wrong, both my parents are also my hero's, but Jason is one of my closest cousins. When he announced he would be joining to the navy it broke my heart, and I was torn. I consider Jason my hero because he is close in age, and I grew up with him. | Jason is the son of my mothers twin sister, or my Aunt Susan. He also has a younger sister Annie, in which I am also very close to. Their father, my Uncle Kevin is my funniest uncle, and I love him very much. Currently Jason's parents are divorced, causing me to unfortunately not see my Uncle much anymore. Ever since we were born we have been introduced to each other, and grown extremely close. At every family party it was always Jason, Annie, my older sister Jordan, and I as the “Cool older cousins” to the younger ones. | I remember exact days in particular spent with Jason. There was this one hot, summer day when my there was a family party at Jason and Annie’s house. All of my younger cousins were running around and all hyped up on all the food they ate as anyone could expect. Jason, Annie, Jordan and I were outside in their side yard. We decided to play a game of soccer, but with only four people it is quite difficult. Next, it was time to choose the 2vs2 teams. We always tried the pointless littleeveryone put your hands in and someone counted off hands to a little rhyme. It never worked out, because at the time I completely looked up to Annie, so I always had to be on her team. In the end, I always got what I wanted and Annie and I won every time, but I truly regret turning Jason down every time he ended up on my team. Even though he was in my presence every game, I realize now that in some indescribable way, I would have made things different and would have brought us closer if we were together then. I can't take it back now, but just only try to strengthen our relationship. | Jason announced during another family and friends party that he would be going through boot camp to prepare him for the navy in just a few short weeks. I suddenly broke down crying, and I remember first being embarrassed about it, but then I didn't care who saw me crying. I remember looking at him and thinking to myself “Why does he want to do this? What reason does he have?” My second thought was “Look at that skinny 19 years old boy, he is going to get crushed in the navy.” Before I knew it he hugged me for the last time, and told me he would write to me, and then he was gone. I thought about him every second of every day for the next week or so. One of the parts that hit me the hardest was last memorials day. I was randomly selected by my 8th grade teacher to do a reading of the Gettysburg Address during two assemblies, one for the middle school, and one for the elementary school. Keeping Jason in mind I gladly accepted. It had been a tradition in the middle school that two 8th graders would read, and then there was a video shown to the audience. I was luckily tough enough to make it through my reading, but during the video, all I could think of was Jason, which instantly made me ball cry. The rest of the day in my classes I was a wreck. | One better day, in terms of my emotions about Jason, my family received news of him. The news was that he was on guard watching for any invaders. He was with two of his best friends which had made it through boot camp with him who were also on watch duty alongside him. There was an unexpected grenade thrown at them, causing his two friends to die instantly. He was right next to them when it happened, and he was suffering in pain too, but he saw his two close friends die. He very fortunately survived, but was wounded. He is fully recovered now physically, but mentally not so much. He acts just as he always did, but I know there's something he will never forget. Jason has gone through so much, and he is my true hero.
9: Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need it.
10: Superwoman | Nana= Superwoman! For my entire life, my Nana has been a very large part of it. I am extremely close to her, and she is willing to help me with absolutely anything. I think sometimes I take her for granted, that she will always be there, but I have learned to live out every second I spend with her to the very fullest. I couldn't ask to change one thing about her, she's the best. | On every holiday I see her and my grandfather (who we all call puppy, I don't know how that name came?), and they randomly come over our house to just drop by and say hello. Each time they come over Nana is always sure to bring something. Weather the object be huge or small like cupcakes, it means something. Every dessert or food item she brings is always made from scratch, which makes them that much better! I know for a fact that my Nana was a great mother to my father and his siblings while they were growing up, and she has continued to be a role-model to me too. I don't know what I would do without her. The small things my Nana does mean the most, and nothing big or flashy is needed to make me love her more. | She is known in the family, and even famous for a few specific things. My dad is known as the “one, who always eats,” so each holiday where she makes homemade whoopie pies, she is sure to make a dozen extra for him. She hides them somewhere different each time and my dad always attempts to look for them, but usually results in a failure. With each extra batch Nana somehow gets my dad to believe that he is her favorite child, and every single time he buys it! I think this is going to be a tradition because my dad always saves one for me, and he gets me to believe I’m his favorite child. I guess Nana has taught him well! She has a special relationship with each and every one of her grandchildren, but I personally believe that the bond I have with her is the strongest. She always baby sits or watches my cousins and when it is needed, and is always sure to make it a memorable moment. Overall, I love Nana, and she is always there, always.
11: A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.