My father. He’s the type of person that doesn’t express his emotions very often, but when he does it’s an explosion of gestures. His smile is one of them. The crinkles in his eyes that would appear more apparent than usual. His anger over a football or soccer game shows when he makes a fist at the television screen and shakes it; throwing his hands all over the place until they settle down at the armrests. Just like a child, he’d throw a tantrum if his favorite team wasn’t winning. I mean, he didn’t get those tattoos of his favorite sports team for nothing. They have to win in his eyes. That, and he would make bets with his friends during fantasy football to see which team would win. His eyes that are focused on the recipe in front of him scanning every detail that was written down on paper. His career isn’t a chief, but I can certainly say in another lifetime, he definitely would be. In technical terms, he’s my stepdad, but to me, he’s my real father. He always knows what to say when giving me advice, is always there for me when I feel alone, and when it comes down to it, he’s been more of a father to me than my “real” one. Just like my father, my mother was always there for me too, but in a different way.

My mother. She’s the type of person that doesn’t let her emotions control her. She uses logical reasoning instead, but when she does let her emotions get to her it’s surprising. The way when she cried her eyes would squint and get smaller along with the puff that swelled under her eyes. When she got angry over something I did back when I was a child, she would let out a huff and shake her head. When she hugged me and put her head on my hair and stroked it gently as though I’m fragile and she doesn’t want to break me. My mother is someone who when she feels she feels immensely. Sometimes, like me, she’s sensitive, worried, anxious, and caring. I have a lot of similarities to my mother. Sometimes, we’ll be too similar, so we butt heads on a lot of things. One thing that I remember vividly is the time I wanted to get a nose piercing and she said no. Despite being old enough to make my own decisions, I wanted my mother’s approval because her opinion means a lot to me. When she said no, I felt stubborn. I wanted it so badly that I actually started to butt heads with her and try to argue why I should get one. In the end, I did get one. However, my mother, to this day still doesn’t like it, but she said she’ll support me in my decisions even though technically I’m in the wrong. Unlike my mother however, my uncle supported me in getting my nose piercing. He supports me in a lot of things.

My uncle. The type of person to make everyone laugh just by staring at them with a silly face. It was when the way he laughed he would grab his stomach and cover his eyes with his arm not able to control the bellowing laugh. It was the way his mouth puckered when he tried to hold in his smile in attempt to make a poker face. It was the way he rose his eyebrows in surprise when he found out I had gotten a nose piercing, but then grinned and patted me on the back. He pretended he didn’t see it at first and thought it was a “booger” in my nose. I laughed so hard out of both embarrassment and out of amusement. It was the way he almost drank paint water one time when I was a child because he had put it next to his water cup. For what reason? I will never know, but it wasn’t the brightest decision to make. I remember stopping him before he drank it and he let out a chuckle; purposely putting it back next to the water cup, he grabbed the water cup and drank out of that. It was the way he would dress up his dogs in Game of Thrones costumes, they were dragons, and amused everyone at the costume party when he showed up. He even amused those on Instagram with how many likes and comments he got on how well he dressed up his little puppies. Just like my uncle, my aunt was quite funny as well, only she had the strength he could never have. Physically I mean, she works out a lot.

My aunt. It was the way she brought a gallon of water everywhere she went because she wanted to reach her water drinking goal of drinking eight cups of water a day. It was the way she ran five miles almost every day just to make sure she stayed healthy and fit; trying to get me to join I wasn’t the best runner, but I tried my best to catch up with her. Not only is she a fitness junkie, she’s a hopeless romantic as well. The way she looked away when she gets embarrassed along with her redden cheeks when I would (always) mention if she had a boyfriend or went on a date with someone. The way she would cover her face quickly, again in embarrassment when she starts to talk about someone she is falling for. The way you can tell her heart is beating faster by the smile on her face as she talks about her new boyfriend. Also, by the way she fiddles with her hands. Isn’t that just adorable? It really is. Just like my aunt, my father would light up too when he talked about my mother or whenever my mother was mentioned.

It was the way when smiled the crinkles in his eyes would appear more apparent. It was the way when she cried her eyes would squint and get smaller along with the puff that swelled under her eyes. It was the way he laughed he would grab his stomach and cover his eyes with his arm not able to control the bellowing laugh. It was the way she looked away when she gets embarrassed along with her redden cheeks. Each of my family members have their unique gestures that create their own persona. My father, my mother, my uncle, and my aunt have their own way of expressing how they feel in their own unique way. These aren’t just random people in my life, these are my family members. The people I’ve grown up with and have been there for me when no one else was.

My family is something I am entirely grateful for. The reason I am grateful for them because some people aren’t that lucky to have a mom and a dad. Some people don’t have an aunt or an uncle. It’s moments like these where I really find myself remembering all the moments I have had with my family and loving everything about the memories. Even the sad, angry, heart wrenching ones. My family is one of the only things in this world that I know that will always be there. No matter what hardships I go through, they will always be there. They’re my family.