Live and Learn

“Wake up! Its 5:00am, time to hit the road!” As I leap out of my bed, I remember that it is the beginning of my favorite week of the summer! Even though it is early, I grab my pillow and blanket and run in excitement to the car. Despite the fact that I am tried and awake hours before I usually am, this does not bother me in the slightest. For seventeen years I have enjoyed waking up early and rushing to the car to start my week long family vacation where I get to spend time with the people I care most about.
I spent my first twelve summer vacations in Dennisport, Cape Cod with my mom, dad, sister, aunt and uncle. One special tradition my sister Melanie and I had every year was to go down to the beach right before sunset and make a big, beautiful sand creation.

Some years we would make a huge sand castle decorated with sea shells and seaweed, while other years we would make a giant mermaid or turtle. Our family would sit above us on the deck, eating their steamed clams and shrimp cocktail and watch us build our creation while occasionally commenting down on our progress. Their continual laughter would make me smile with the warm feeling that quality family time brings. I will always cherish these childhood memories of times on the beach with my sister. While I wished I would be able to stay a child on this vacation forever, I soon had to face the fact that I was growing and maturing and along with that, my vacation to Cape Cod would not remain the same.
After twelve amazing years spent at Dennisport, my mother’s death from cancer changed my life and our Cape Cod vacation forever. At first, I did not let myself accept this. I could not acknowledge the fact that we would no longer create family memories at Cape Cod.
The first summer after my mom passed away my dad, my grandmother, Melanie and I spent a quiet week in Cape Cod. Instead of my sister and me going off and making a sand castle, we now spent time having appetizers with my dad and grandma instead. We would sit around the counter talking and laughing while my dad prepared 4lbs lobsters for each of us to enjoy. This was the first of what would become many vacations spent in Harwichport.
In the years that followed, my new step mom, Kristin and step sister, Tasha joined my dad, Melanie and me in Harwichport. Now, rather than building sand castles, I run with my family into the 58 degree water at Marconi Beach searching for the perfect waves to ride in. The moment that I get right on top of the wave and come flying onto the shore, a smile crosses my face and I am filled with the exhilaration of the ride and the excitement of these new memories. In these instances, I am once again filled with the warm sensation that comes with family time and knowing everything is okay.

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Through the changes in the family and location of my trip to Cape Cod one thing has remained the same; my vacation to Cape Cod allows me to create memorable experiences that I will always cherish. My recollections of Cape Cod when I was younger have created lasting bonds between myself and my mom that will remain with me always. My vacations with my dad, new mom and sisters bring the opportunity for new experiences and memories now and in the years to come. Although change can be scary and difficult, when I reflect back on my Cape Cod vacations I can appreciate the new adventures that have come with these changes.

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