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Family: can't live with them, can't live without. As cliché as the saying is, it's legit. Alexandra, a 17-year-old high school senior sadly smiles upon her past.
“Cliff was not only my brother, but someone I could depend on – go to when times got bad.”
Four years ago, Alex's older brother Cliff, died in a car accident. He was on his way home from picking Alex up from a winter festival.
“It just happened so fast,” said Alex, shaking as she sipped her hot chocolate, “One moment he was laughing, the next . . . he was on top of me.”
Cliff's small Honda had been smashed in by a drunk driver running through a red light. She only remembers seeing the headlights behind Cliff as he turned and tried to cover her. As it turned out, his cover had helped with protecting Alex – later she found out she could've suffered from severe ligament damage, and been possibly left with a crippled left leg.
Alex regrets not being closer to Cliff sooner.
“Since we were five years apart, I never got to really connect with him. When [the accident] happened, we were in the middle of developing a bond, it seemed.”
When Alex was young, Cliff already had his own group of friends, breaking off from his four siblings, which had an impact on Alex and Cliff's potential friendship. As Alex matured into a young teen, that's when she and Cliff began to connect – soon, they were hanging out as friends in groups.
“The fact is – he's my brother, I love him.”
Alex motions the sign of a cross across her chest when she mentions her brother's name.
“Now that [he's not here], I feel lonely knowing I can't see him.”
Alexandra M, speaking out about her past with her brother, knows how important family is. She experiences first-hand what it's like without a immediate family member, and regrets not being able to cherish her brother daily. Being in a whole family is deeper than it seems, disregarding if you can't deal living with them – you certainly can't live without.