I've done many things that would make any parent proud. I'veparticipated in sports, church and school events, but I ammost proud to be a good big brother. It's an ongoingaccomplishment; I am second oldest in a family of six. Thereisn't too much out there I wouldn't do for my siblings, asannoying as they can sometimes be.
When you think ofbig brothers, do you think of a big, strong guy who will beatup all the bullies? Or do you think of a big brother as thebully who needs to be beaten up? When I think of big brothers,I think of the guy who defends the family and always looksafter the younger (or even older) siblings. I have to watchover four sisters and a brother, plus myself. That's quite atask, but one I feel I have gotten good at.
Mybrother needs more attention than most siblings. When he wasnine, he was hit by a pick-up truck on the way to the bus stopand lost use of the lower two-thirds of his body. He's been ina wheelchair for six years. My brother does many things, butsometimes he tries to do things he used to do but can't now.I'm always there with words of encouragement.
My familyhas weathered the tremendous storm of my brother's accident bybecoming closer than most families, helping one another as ason and brother, a daughter and sister, and a mom or dad. Wecried on each other's shoulders and, with the support of eachother and the grace of God, all of my family, including mybrother, has recovered from this emotional trauma.
Inow watch my brother strive to do as many things as he canwithin and beyond his limits. Should he fall, I will be theperson to pick him up. I also watch as my younger sistersmature into intelligent, beautiful young women. Whenever mybrother or sisters need a helping hand or words ofencouragement, I'm on the job. That's what I, the big brother,am for.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.