Being photography editor this semester gave me the wonderful opportunty of expressing my feelings to the ULV community. Deciding what to write for my last column was harder than I initially thought. I tossed and turned in my bed, hoping that a jolt of genius would slap me out of confusion.
As a graduate, should I list the infinite number of ways to say goodbye? Should I make a plea for the perfect job? Should I write a cheezy farewell to my sorority sisters, who already know how much they mean and that no one else would read?
Finally, as my deadline drew closer, and my editor breathed down my neck, I just started writing, and the manure just flew. Now that my introduction has taken up a fourth of my space, I think I should get to the point.
This is my dedication to my family. The people fondly referred to as the Ambriz Clan. Even though they may not know it, they come first, second, third and dead last in my life. I am the person I am today because of their guidance, love and support (both emotional and financial).
I wish everyone could know them as I do, but then again, we do not always take kindly to outsiders. But just so one knows about whom I am talking, I will give you the line up: Mariano (dad), Elaine (mom), Hugo (brother), Deanna (sister-in-law), Luis (brother), Marina (sister), Alicia (sister), Elsa (sister), Tony (basically brother-in-law), Olivia (sister). Then of course there is me, the annoying, spoiled rotten baby of the family.
In high school, I was teased by friends, because of the freakish, closeness of my family. In a time of record high divorces and dysfunctional families, we seemed out of place. Not just because my parents are still together, but because my siblings and I hang out. We can sit in front of the television in cohesion, we caravan to the movie theater several times a month, and we still get together to celebrate birthdays.
When I was younger, I never wished for a smaller family, in fact, I wanted another sibling. Although I had so many siblings already, I still felt alone. I felt that everyone had a partner, and being the odd numbered child, I had no one. But having gone through the traumatic experience of having six people reject me for a game of Candyland, I have promised myself that I will never have an odd number of children.
As an adult, I am still bitter about Candyland, but I realize that there is nothing I would change about how I have grown up. The Saturday morning fights, the Sunday morning groans, the community property clothes and the Fourth of July “fire-cracker-ramas,” have been more than any person could hope for.
Then there are my parents, the glue that holds this mob of kids together. Although strict may be too nice of a word, everything that my parents did in raising us, they did with love. My mother and father always encouraged us to do what was in our hearts, always supported us even through horrible musical recitals and always bought us matching Easter clothes, so we would not feel stupid by ourselves. Even though I have written a whole column about the love I have for my family, I still cannot seem to find the words to express how much they mean to me.
I am sure that all of this praise for my family is about to make one sick, but as much as I love my family, I do not get the opportunity to tell them very often. So here it goes: you are my mentors, my friends, my confidants. You are my laugh tracks, my loudest clappers, my stress relievers. You are all my life.
Laura Ambriz, a senior communications major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.