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Sisters Gone Forever...
My sisters, forever and always.
“What is the most important thing to remember?” my mother asked, her brown eyes searching my face, anxiously awaking my answer.
“Do not get attached!” I blurted out; barley letting my mother finish asking her question. Eagerly I bounced up and down. My excitement could barely be contained. Ever since I could remember, I had always wanted a little sister; instantly, I started to make a list in my head of all the things we would do together. My plans included teaching them how to ride bikes, and how to ride my pony. Finally, I was going to have two little sisters. Ignoring my mother’s instructions caused me to make the biggest mistake for a foster family. I got attached to my “little sisters.”
To begin with, my parents became licensed foster parents about six years ago. We had four kids come in and out of our home, but I got strongly attached to two of the little girls. Their names were Jen and Tina. They were sisters who came out of a home where they were neglected. Anna and Mae were underweight, sad, scared and untrusting.
Shortly before they arrived, my family’s social worked sat down with each member of my family and went over the rules. Nobody in our family had meet Jen or Tina yet and we had no idea what to expect. We were just told that we were going to have a four year old and a two year old coming to stay with us for a short time. Our social worked tried to make it crystal clear the rule we needed to follow. “Do not get attached to the kids, they move around a lot and it will become very hard.” While our social worker explained this, I sat there twidling my thumbs, not listening to what she was saying. My imagination swirled with activities I had planned with my new sisters. Looking back, I should have listened because I became very much attached to Jen and Tina the moment I saw them.
When Jen and Tina arrived a couple days later, I had all my toys ready. My mom walked through the door of our house, holding Jen and Tina's hands. I quickly looked at my new sisters. Anna had thin dark brown hair, hazel eyes and was underweight. Mae was a chunky little girl, with green eyes and short blond hair. Instantly I became attached at the hip to them, however they didn’t feel the same way. Frustration soon set in, they didn’t want to play with me! This was not my plan, I thought angrily. The girls were very shy and distrusting.
A few hours after they arrived at my house, Mom sent me outside to play with the girls. I took them to one of my favorite spots, the tire swing. They did not seem interested in the tire swing at all. Hopping on, I began to swing by myself while they watched quietly, attempting to make it as fun as possible. It worked, because when I asked Tina if she would like to try hesitantly, she accepted. In my mind, having Tina say yes was a turning point. The girls were starting to like me, I thought.
“Higher! Higher!” Tina screamed, between giggles. Her short blond hair caught beams of sunlight and lit up her chubby little face. The blue eyes that were filled with sadness just two hours ago were now sparkling; Tina’s chubby white fingers were wrapped tightly around the tire swing rope. I ran full speed at the tire swing and pushed it with all my might. The swing soared though the warm summer air; flying like a kite. Feeling a tug on my shirt, I looked down. Jen was jumping up and down and squealing.
“I want to too!” she said. Bluntly stopping the swing, much too little Tina's surprise, I plopped Jen up next to Tina. I pushed with all my might until the little tire swing was soaring in the air! The two sisters looked so much alike and the sadness seemed to be almost gone from their eyes. Tina threw her head back and screamed for joy, while Jen laughed. They giggled, squealed and kicked their little legs furiously. It was the perfect moment, they were my sisters. Deep down inside, I loved them. I wish that moment would have never ended, but like most good things, it did.
Jen and Tina spent a couple weeks with over us over the course of two summers. They moved homes a lot and we only got custody of them sometimes. When they were at my house, I felt like they were a natural fit for my family. We were sisters. I helped out by giving them baths, putting them to bed, playing with them, feeding them and even helped potty train them! We did everything together. Their bedroom was right next to mine and when they got up in the morning, I helped get them dressed, and feed them breakfast.
However, when Jen and Tina spent a weekend with my family this past February, it would be the last time I saw them. The weather was cold and chilly. We played outside, played with my bottle lamb, watched movies and ate popcorn. As they leaving that sad Sunday afternoon, I remember hugging each of them and whispering in their ear “I love you!” and they both replied “I love you too Issac!” As soon as they left, I ran down to my room and hugged my favorite stuffed animal. I cried so many tears, there were none left. Deep down inside, I knew it would be the last time I’d see them. My heart broke.
One of Jen and Tina’s foster homes in a small town, about thirty minutes from where I live. Every time we go to that town I always look for them. Hoping that maybe, just maybe that little girl might be one of them. I anxiously peer around every corner at Wal-Mart, maybe they’re here, I think. It’s been over a year since I saw Jen and Tina. The tire swing now site lonely in the back yard; hanging limply from the big oak tree. The giggles seem to float in the air, and their smiles remain in my memory. Jen would be six now and Tina would be four. I think about them all the time and all the things we did together. Sometimes I go out back and sit on the tire swing, and just remember them. My heart aches, because I know they’re somewhere in this world, but I have no idea where. I remember how, I had two beautiful little sisters, perfect, in every way.
Dedicated to Jen and Tina,
My beautiful sisters, may God keep and protect you, wherever you are. I miss you and love you, come home.