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Recapping Richmond

June 12, 2012

This weekend, my family flew to Richmond, Virginia to visit family and friends and celebrate my grandparents’ 60th anniversary. I’ve visited my old home four times in the past, but this trip was extra special because of everything I realized along the way. This weekend, I saw family members I haven’t seen for three or four years, and it was fantastic.

On Friday and Saturday, I bonded with friends I have known for many years. We reminisced and discussed the present and future, and the conversations were everything I hoped they would be. Friends come and go during the course of a person’s life, but I have been friends with these people seemingly forever. Through different schools, changes, growth, and moves, we’ve remained friends. I cherish these friendships, and no matter what happens and how much things change in the future, I always will.

On Sunday, my family drove up to Washington, D.C. and Great Falls, Virginia to see relatives. I saw my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my three cousins, my dad’s cousin and her family, and my great-aunt and great-uncle. I truly enjoyed talking to them all about my freshman year of college, my upcoming trip to Italy, my future, and their lives.

Every time I’ve seen my cousins, they have been quite young. This year, my oldest cousin is almost 12, but talking to him, one would think he was much older. He seems to understand life better than I do in some respects! He was very knowledgeable about things from how college works to health and fitness. He even inspired me to start exercising more! I haven’t had much of a relationship with my relatives outside of my extended family in the past; our relationship has consisted of seeing each other on holidays and then very rarely after I moved to Kansas. That’s it.

This trip made me decide to build relationships with my relatives. My cousin and I made a pact to email each other often and see each other more than once every three years when we’re the adults in the family. I think my parents have decided we’re going to visit family more often because they understand the significance of family more now after they saw my brother and me talk to my cousins for over an hour, straight through. And even beyond my cousins, I want to have friendships with my family members; I care about what is going on in their lives, they give great advice (we did plan my next semester of college, after all; and, piece of advice from my great-uncle: a large part of happiness comes from making other people happy.), and they listened and asked many questions about my life. I want to talk to my family members beyond just seeing them every so often. Friends are wonderful and add much to an individual’s life. But family is forever; it’s blood. Through everything, family members are there for each other. It’s family, after all, and it’s one of the most important things in the world.

With my brother and my three cousins.

So obviously, my trip to Virginia was magnificent. It made me want to travel more and spend more time with family and friends, so that’s exactly what I plan to do.

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