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Brother: Craig S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I was only six. I got up like I did every morning, puton my uniform and went to school. It was my daily routine, but then my whole lifechanged.

When I was called to the office I didn't think anything of it atfirst; I was a good student and well-behaved so I knew I wasn't in trouble. WhenI got there I saw my brother, which didn't make sense. We went to differentschools, so something had to be up if he was there instead of my mom. He told methat Gail, our sister, had gotten sick and was rushed to the hospital.

The whole way home I was in tears. I didn't know what was going on, but Itried to understand. Craig said Gail had had something like a stroke (she wasonly in seventh grade). The doctors tried to help my sister, but they couldn't.She stayed in the hospital for almost a year.

Throughout that year, Ididn't see my parents very much. My brother and family friends cared for andwatched over me. For a while I would cry myself to sleep every night because Imissed my parents so much. I only saw them at the hospital during visits withGail and at night sometimes when I stayed up late enough, but it just wasn't thesame. They weren't at any of my school or music concerts to cheer me on; theyheard about them from my brother. I'd stand outside school waiting with the otherkids for someone to pick us up, and I'd envy those whose moms came. I thought myparents didn't love or want me anymore. My brother was stuck with me, and Ithought it would stay that way forever.

Eventually, I stopped crying atnight and just forgot about missing my parents. One winter day I was sledding andbroke my finger. I ran home in tears and raced in to see Craig. My parents werehome, which shows just how much I trusted Craig, to go to him for help and not myparents. He took me to the doctor and helped me do my homework while my fingerhealed.

If Craig had an early lunch at school, sometimes his teacherswould let him take me to McDonald's. Sure, McDonald's isn't the greatest place toeat, but Craig was trying to make me feel loved and special, and it worked.

My brother was the person who took care of me. He showed me how to cook,make my bed and help clean up the house while Mom and Dad were at thehospital.

Eventually, Gail got better, but when she was released from thehospital she didn't know how to walk or talk, or who I was. At first I was afraidof my sister. Here was a person I had spent my whole life with, and she didn'tremember me. During the year, something had ruptured in Gail's brain and she losther memory. For the next two years I helped her relearn how to walk andtalk.

When I was younger, I used to think my brother and sister were puton Earth to make my life miserable - I mean, isn't that what all siblings do? Butnow I know that Craig has taught me everything. He helped raise and care for me,and I'll never stop loving him for that.




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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