Mental health: the importance of not taking family for granted (Opinion)

Welcome to The Mav’s mental health editorial series: The Patchwork Project

Anonymous, Writer

All opinions are those of the writers themselves and do not promote any official view or stance of Mead High School or St. Vrain Valley Schools. 

Growing up, I was always with my family. It didn’t matter if we were taking our annual out of state trip or spending the night with my grandparents, I was constantly surrounded by my loved ones. And when I was little, I didn’t fully understand how much it impacted my happiness.

When I came home from what felt like a long day at the time, my mom was already making me a snack and my dad was putting on a crime show as my sister was trying to help me with my homework that I had no idea how to do. They were there and they were all with me.

When my mom had to leave for her night shift as a nurse, I clung to her leg so tight that she couldn’t step out of the house. My dad was there to carry me over to the couch and hand me some ice cream and talk about my day.

We went to the Bahamas for my seventh birthday with my parents and sister, cousin, aunt, and grandparents. We sat around a big table for dinner with sunburnt faces and messy hair as I opened duplicates of presents that my relatives had bought at the hotel gift shop that morning.

When I went to a new bookstore every week with my sister when she first got her license and I didn’t want to read anything other than contemporary, she pointed out my favorite fantasy series that I still reread every couple of months. She was always there to take me places I couldn’t get to myself and point me in the right direction.

When I looked over during my game and saw my baba sitting in the stands, it was normal because he was at every one of them. He was always there cheering me on and nonchalantly trying to coach my swing which at the time I hated, but now I understand that the small grin it brought me was one of the most cherished moments that I ever had with him. I only started to question when he would be coming to my games when he started to get sick, but he still showed up despite how bad he felt.

More recently, I have been struggling with keeping a good connection with those who matter most to me because I have been so busy with work, school, and other endeavors. It takes a toll on my mental state and changes how I view my life. I was more aware during these past holidays when everyone was talking about their plans with their family and loved ones. I miss being able to say that I am always with my family or that I can’t hang out with the kids from school because I have plans with my parents.

I want the student body to know and I want to reiterate that it is incredibly important to take time to spend with the people that matter most to you. It is important to tell your family you love them and let them know how much you value their company. 

And although it may not seem so necessary and significant now, the greatest lesson that I have learned is to love those near you because that is something that you can’t go back and fix once time has passed.