A Letter To My Siblings Back Home

A Letter To My Siblings Back Home

They may be annoying and several hours away but they're still family.
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Every year when I leave for college, one of the hardest things I have to do is say good bye to my family, including my younger siblings. Even though they annoy the crap out of me 90% of the time, they are such a big part of my life and sometimes it’s hard getting on through my day without them.

So to my siblings I left at home, here are a few things I want you to know:

Even though I live a few hours away now, it doesn’t mean that I am not still a part of your life. So when I text you randomly asking about your day, ANSWER ME! I actually want to know what’s going on in your life! Either that or use Facebook so I can stalk more effectively.

I also want you to know that I think about you guys all the time. I’ll look at the clock and think about which class period you are in or when you are getting off the bus from school. There’s that one song that I hear that always reminds me of our jam out sessions in the car or that movie with the quote that you say all the time. I smile every time I think of those memories.

I get worried about you. When I hear (FROM MOM) that you just went through a break-up or that some kid is bullying you, I get super defensive and want to rush home and punish whoever has done you wrong.

I tell me college friend’s stories about stupid stuff you’ve done. They think you’re hilarious and they haven’t even met you yet.

Even from another state, you still manage to annoy me. Just because I left something at home does not automatically make it yours! And texting me at 6 am asking if you can wear my shirt to school is not acceptable either.

I’m so proud of your accomplishments and it tears me apart that I can’t be with you to celebrate. I’m still you’re biggest cheerleader!

Don’t bother trying to steal my ‘Favorite Child’ title. I may not even be there to defend it but that just means I can’t do anything to tarnish my rep.

I know you miss me, and you don’t need to try and hide it. It’s the single worded “hey” text in the afternoon and the abnormally strong hugs when I come home that give it away. It’s OK, you’re still the annoying little kid that I know and love, I won’t give away your secret. Also, I miss you too!


Cover Image Credit: Julie Charlebois

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.
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Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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Because Of My Brothers I Am More Empowered To Take On The World

The lessons they have taught me are greater than any I learned in school

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For the first nine years of my life, I was an only child. I got all the attention, plus the fame and glory that comes with it. I knew I was number one in my parents heart, and loved every second of it. Now, ten years later, I share that spot with three little boys who I love with every fiber in my being. My brothers, who are 10,9, and 4, have taught me more about being a good person than anything else on this planet has.

Because I was old enough to understand what exactly a baby meant each time one came around, especially with the youngest one, I did take a bigger role in their life compared to my friends whose siblings are only a few years younger. I learned not only to share the love my parents gave me,but how to love unconditionally. No, I am not my brothers parent, but I love them as much as I believe a sister possibly could.

People underestimate the relationship I have with those three little boys. I think it goes over people's head that I do not have a normal relationship with them, rather, I have been able to experience their earliest years of life after mine, rather than sharing it. For the most part, I was not a child when they were born, I was almost (I know-that's up for debate) grown. So their first words, steps, joys and failures- I felt that with them. I felt, and still do feel, an overwhelming urge to protect them from the world, and shield them for the evils it holds. One of the hardest days of my life was during my senior year of high school, and my mother and I discussed with the boys what to do if there was a school shooting. Because of my brothers, I want to fight for a better world.

So, no, I am not my brothers parent. I do not know what it is like to love a child as a parent does, but I do know the receiving end of that love. And it is great.

Because of my brothers, not only will I be better prepared to one day be a parent (I mastered the art of changing a diaper long ago, and can make a bottle like the best of them), I am ready to fight for a better world.

So, to my brothers if they one day read this: I love you. Not just because of the men you are growing up to be, but because the hearts you have, the love you give, the joy you bring me, and lessons you have taught me.

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