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Missing Lindsey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

As a child, my hero was always my older sister, Lindsey. Having her made me feel like I had guidance, in addition to my parents, from someone who knew me best. Having Lindsey there to help me through tough times gave me a feeling of reassurance during my childhood. However, when I was 11, I had to learn how to live without her guidance. I had to learn that even the strongest people fall down and it is up to family to pick them back up.

Lindsey had always been my inspiration. Not only was she an incredible person, but she was the only one who could put a smile on my face when I was ready to cry. However, when she was 14 her world began to crumble. Even though she was happy on the outside, I knew she was hiding a secret from the family: Lindsey was abusing drugs and alcohol.

Her bad decisions filled my heart with hurt. I was enraged that she was ruining her life, but I knew I could do nothing about her choices. Each day I felt like I was losing more of her, and getting more of someone I did not know. I knew my mom was hurting from the stress of trying to help Lindsey too.

“Your sister is going to boarding school,” my mom told me quietly. I ran to my room and slammed the door. I had never been so disappointed in my entire life. My anger overflowed each time I looked at her. I felt as if my relationship with my sister was worthless.

I still remember the ride to the airport. The silence that filled the car felt unending. For one year, Lindsey would live at a therapeutic boarding school in Utah. I will never forget the look on her face when she saw how much she had hurt me. As much as I wanted to hug her good-bye, I refused to admit she was really leaving.

“I love you,” Lindsey whispered as she boarded the plane. I could say nothing. I was so filled with anger that I couldn't even look at her.

Even though I thought my world would fall apart, I began to realize that Lindsey's leaving helped me and my family see just how close we really were. It made me see the true meaning of family and the value of love.

The year without Lindsey passed slowly. The halls of the house were quiet, and the sparkle in my mom's eyes was gone. I knew how painful it was for her to send Lindsey away, but I also knew that this was not a choice.

Each time I walked by the staircase, I remembered when Lindsey and I had slid down on an air mattress. Each time I went swimming, it reminded me of the time we jumped in the pool one Christmas Eve and almost froze to death. Each time I went on the trampoline, I remembered when she double bounced so high that I went flying off. Each time I rode my horse, it reminded me of all the times we raced or both fell off our horses because we couldn't stop laughing.

The memories overflowed my head as I was forced to live that year without Lindsey. Without her I became stronger because I learned that I am capable of doing many things on my own. I learned how to live without her help with each step.

With each letter she sent me, I only became more anxious for her to come home. I eventually learned to forgive her, because I knew that if she couldn't turn to family, then she would turn to drugs and alcohol. I learned to accept her with open arms no matter what she was going through.

After a lonely year without Lindsey, it was finally time for her to come home. I had been counting down the days for months. I felt the nerves pumping in my body. I felt as if I was about to receive a brand new car, or as if I had just won a trip to Europe. Finally, it was time.

The second car ride to the airport was filled with excitement. There was no doubt that my mom was also anxious and happy to have her back. When we got to the airport, my eyes immediately found hers. The warm tears again came to my eyes, but this time they were from happiness. I sprinted from the car toward the familiar face I had missed so much. My arms wrapped around her as she began to cry.

Lindsey's face was more mature. She was also taller. On the car ride home, she told us about the friends she had made and the struggles she had faced at the boarding school. Surprisingly, she thanked my mom for sending her.

With tears once again in her eyes, she apologized to all of us for the bad choices she had made and reassured us that she would never make those mistakes again. Her words were like music to my ears. I felt so relieved to have my sister back. Lindsey would get another chance.

With Lindsey home, we have an even stronger relationship than before; we have learned to be there for each other. To this day, we share everything and never hesitate to help each other. I am overjoyed that I had the chance to start over with my sister.

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 2 comments. Post your own now!

myralyne said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm
I loved how you revealed apart of your self while putting alot of detail in it as well. i went through a similar thing with my older brother so I know how hard it can be. Very good piece!
 
Bethani said...
Mar. 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm
Great job! Heartfelt and real. I love it!
 
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