Finally it was 7 o’clock. I jumped out of my bed, ran into my parents room, and hopped on their bed trying to wake them up as fast as I could. Today was Christmas. Everyday since Thanksgiving, I had sang Christmas music, watched Christmas movies and decorated the house for Christmas. I was convinced that it was going to be the best day of the whole year.
I ran down stairs and turned on the lights for the Christmas village and the tree. Immediately the room came alive like magic. I looked above the fireplace and squealed with joy. Hanging down was my stocking filled to the top with presents. I knew at that moment that Santa Claus must have come to visit me at night as I knew he would. At my focus shifted, I saw more evidence that Santa had come. The cookies were gone from the plate and the cup of milk was empty. New presents were under the tree that said From: Santa Claus.
Next my brothers came down, followed by my cousins and parents. Immediately when my parents got to the bottom of the stairs I could tell that something was wrong. Even my brothers were not as happy as they should have been on a Christmas morning. My mother pulled me and my cousin to the side and brought us into a different room. Very matter of factly my mother told us what happened. She told us that last night our Great Grandfather had died of old age.
My Cousin and I were sitting together in silence. Neither of us could believe what we had just been told. My mother was still explaining what had happened, but I was to shocked to hear what she was saying. My cousin and I sat in silence as my mother left the room to leave us to absorb the news. A few minutes later I left the room and suddenly was more observant of everything people were doing around me. Everything seemed to slow down as I left that room, and I saw that no one was as excited as I had been that morning. My parents were trying to put on a smile, but it was a plastered fake smile. That was the biggest new I had ever heard and it happened on Christmas Day.
My name, in Latin, means Victory. In Roman mythology, Victoria was the name of the goddess of victory. It is a strong, powerful name, but ever since I was a child, everyone has always called me by my nickname, Tori. Although I like the name Victoria, I do not feel connected to the name because no one has ever said it when they are talking to or about me. My real name is Tori. This name connects more to me as a person.
In Japanese, Tori means a bird. The moment I was born, my parents decided to call me by the name Tori, rather than the full name I was given. The name is short and easy to speak. It differs from the name Victoria in this way because Victoria is an official sounding four syllable name. I wish my real, full name was Tori. I wish my parents had put the name Tori on my birth certificate when I was born because although I like the name Victoria, there is no good reason for my name to be something that does not relate to me in any way. The name Victoria is only my name on official documents. Tori is the name I grew up with, and it is the only name I relate to and the only name I will answer to.
My parents named me Victoria because they saw the name in a baby book and liked it. As soon as they saw the name, they both decided they wanted to name one of their kids Victoria. They had the name picked out even before either of my brothers were born. When I was born, they called me Tori because it was the only shortened version of Victoria they liked, and they did not want anyone else to choose my nickname. I wasn’t named after a family member or a famous person. The name my parents chose was meant just for me.
House or Home
I have lived in our house my entire life. The blue house on top of a hill belongs to my mother, my father, myself, and my two brothers, Dylan and Tyler. Although, within the last few years, both my brothers moved out of our house. Now I am the only child living in the house. The house has always been a safe place for me. It is a place where I can hide out after the day is over. I grew up playing in the hallways as a baby, and then, when I got a little older I played ping-pong, and other games, in the attic with Dylan and Tyler.
The house is a special place for my entire family because it was built especially for us. It was not bought from another family who already had made memories in it which makes it special for our family because we are the first people to live in it. The house was built when my oldest brother was very young, about 24 years ago. Many extended family members helped build the house and turn it into a home for my family. They painted the house so that each room was special to the person who would be spending most time in it. My parent’s bedroom looked like the walls were covered with green leaves. My brother’s room was painted blue with yellow stars on the ceiling, so it looked like you were walking in space. When someone walked into the house they could smell the paint fumes and knew that a new house was being built for a family to live in. When my grandfather connected the lights and turned on the switch, the house came alive. But, the attic was left for my mother and my brothers to decorate. Each of the three children of the family left their hand print on the blue wall. Even though the paint will be covered when my parents move out of the house, it will never be scraped off. The hand prints will stay on the wall forever. Even now parts of the house are being repainted so that another family can come in and take it from my family. My brother’s room has been painted over, and my room will also have to be painted over soon. The house I have grown up in is slowly changing and soon will disappear.