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“Sarah… Sarah… Sarah!” my little brother called earnestly.
“I’m coming Jonah!” I shouted back to him down the hall. I groaned. I really did not want to get up. But he is my brother. “Alright bud I’m coming.” I reassured him. I walked down the hallway to his room to go check and see what he wants.
“What’s up Jonah?” I asked exasperatedly while leaning on his wheelchair.
“Um.. Um… Could I have.. Could I have a glass of milk? An.. And some chips?”
“Yes, I can do that for you, buddy. I’ll be right back.” I sighed as I walked to the kitchen. Sometimes I just wished Jonah could be a normal kid. Not be in a wheelchair or have anything wrong with him.
Jonah has cerebral palsy. It’s a disability that is found at birth. Babies born prematurely or that have a low birth weight are at high risk for this. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a general term for disorders that appear in the first few years of the baby’s life and it affects their body movements. This is the case for my brother. He has been in a wheelchair all of his life and his motor skills are very slow. He cannot read or write by himself, he has trouble eating, and he talks very slowly. Take it from me, it is so very hard to deal with this.
“Sarah!! Did you get my chips?” Jonah yelled at me.
“Yes, please hold on.” It is near impossible to keep my cool with him. He is just so impatient sometimes. I love the kid to death but he’s still my brother and he can get pretty dang annoying.
I always think about if it’s possible for my brother to be able to walk. Many doctors and previous therapists have said that over time and with lots of therapy and some surgeries he may be able to. But then again, he may not. This is one of my biggest fears. That he will always be in need of care from someone and he will never get any better. I want my brother to get married; to have a family. To have the wonderful ability to walk on his own. Both my mom and I have this same fear.
I know my mom worries more than I do. She has every reason to. Sometimes I worry about her as well. Considering she is a single mother trying to raise three kids on her own. My father walked out a couple years ago. Well, technically my mom filled for a divorce. But eventually he just stopped coming around. This all happened shortly after he got remarried.
It one was of the hardest things my family had to go through. He was the source of income because he was the one with the job while my mom stayed at home taking care of us kids. But once he left, my mother had to find a job after 10 years of not working. It was hard on all of us because my grandparents were the ones supporting my family for a long time. They bought us food, paid the rent and bills; they did everything for us. We haven’t heard from my dad in years. It’s very upsetting especially on holidays because he doesn’t even call to wish us happy holidays. He doesn’t call or visit on birthdays either. It’s made me very depressed over the past couple years, I just try and hide it.
“Sarah… My snack!” calls Jonah, reminding me of what I’m supposed to be doing. I licked my lips and tasted salt. I felt my cheeks and realized that I have been crying. I didn’t even notice it. I sniffled and wiped away the remaining tears and walked solemnly to my little brother’s room to give him his food.
When I set down the chips and milk, he asked, “Are.. Are you okay?”
I smiled weakly and replied, “Yes, I’m fine Jonah, thank you for asking. I was just thinking about Dad, that’s all.”
He slowly reached over and touched my arm the best way he could and said, “I miss him too Sarah.. It’ll be okay. I.. I know it will. You’re the best big sister I could.. I could ever have. I love you.” He gave me a big toothy grin after he said those very kind words.
I hugged him as well as I could considering he was sitting in his chair and replied, “Thank you so much for that Bud. That really means a lot. I’m glad I have a great little brother like you and I wouldn’t change that for anything.” I smiled at him and kissed his forehead before walking out of the room.
This time when I was crying, it wasn’t for my dumb father. It was for my brother. Or rather, I was crying over my brother. They were not sad tears but joyful ones. I honestly do not know what I would do without him. I love him just how he is no matter how annoying he gets or what happens between us. I would not change how he is for anything for he has the most kindest heart I have come to known.