For some reason I always forget that NOT everyone in my circle of friends and/or acquaintances knows what happened to my parents and the fact that I've grown up overseas my whole life until college rolled around.
Recently, I was talking to a friend about my parents and how closer my sister and I are now and how much I love spending time with my nephew. Suddenly, she exclaims, "Wait, what? Where are your parents now?" I was really surprised that she didn't already know my story. So, then, I of course went on to give her a Cliff Note's version of what happened to my parents. Needless to say she was shocked and told me that suddenly, things started making sense.
I don't know why but I often assume that everyone should just already know these things. It was a huge life changing event in my life so how can some people still not know about it? But how can some people possibly know? How can I expect that when there are certain people that I've never talked to about this. People can't read minds. On the other side of the coin, it's comforting to know that I don't have a sign on my forehead that says "ORPHAN". Let's be honest, there's so much more to me than this. This tragedy most certainly does not define me or my family. It's a battle scar that I'll carry with me forever but it doesn't have to be the first thing someone learns about me.
Right after my parents died, it was so hard for me to understand how people were planning fun trips to Vegas, chic dinners out on the town, sleepovers with boyfriends, vacations to Hawaii or even simply laughing over everyday occurrences. Of course, thankfully, I've gotten over all this. I now understand how important it is to continue life and be happy. That's exactly what they would have wanted me to do. My parents were two happy and joyful people who loved life and would expect nothing but that from me too.