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The Person Who Influenced Me The Most This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I opened the box and took out the gleaming gold bracelet. "For me?" I could barely talk. "Yes, of course," said my Aunt Estelle. I really shouldn't have been surprised because she was like that, unexpected and golden.

When I was younger, I knew that I could always go to my Aunt Estelle for comfort, advice and support. She was my best friend and my guardian angel. I could always be honest with her and confide in her about anything that was on my mind. She also knew when I was trying to hide something. Aunt Estelle gave me advice when it was sought and guided me through many difficulties.

Last December, I was confronted with one of the most difficult choices I ever had to make in my life. Naturally, I sought Aunt Estelle's advice but for the first time I didn't like her response. She was dying of cancer and I was scheduled to go to Israel for two weeks with a group from my synagogue. Aunt Estelle was the most unselfish person I ever knew and would not even consider my hesitation about going. When I went to the hospital to visit her for what turned out to be the last time, she was waiting for me with a book about Israel on her bed and made it very clear that she expected me to go - that it was her greatest wish for me to go - how could I refuse her. Aunt Estelle called me before I left to tell me that she loved me and that she would always be with me.

I went to Israel and had the time of my life. When I returned, my parents picked me up. I told them I couldn't wait to tell Aunt Estelle about my journey. They became silent and I knew before they said the words that she had died. Aunt Estelle's unselfishness was her greatest gift.

The gold bracelet she gave me for my sixteenth birthday was an exact replica of one that I had always admired on her. Each time I look at it I am reminded of an even greater gift from my aunt, the gift of her love.

Whenever I find myself becoming too self-centered and overlooking the needs of those around me, I recall her selflessness and attempt to emulate her ability to make the needs of others a priority. -


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

InorOut said...
Mar. 18, 2012 at 3:02 am:
This eassay is written in simple English. Simple yet it filled with your feelings about your aunt. I can feel your feelings for her as I read this essay. Keep up the good work!
 
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Little Mommy said...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm:
What a beautiful and well thought out essay.  You wrote exactly what the tittle called for, "The Person Who Influenced Me The Most." You kept focus on topic not the trip or the loss of your aunt. Well done....
 
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Lorax said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 12:23 am:
This essay is incredibly well done. It honestly made me cry the first time I read it.  It is short and simple enough to not hide the loss and pain behind tons of words.
 
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ALM007This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm:
i really liked your essay, you can tel why your aunt woud be a great influence to anyone, but i'd write moreabout why she wanted you to go to Israel and why you had the time of your life.
 
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