I had not expected to walk into a room with the aroma of plastic gloves, sanitizer and fresh oxygen. The sight of a small, helpless baby with a pink bow in her hair, lying in a plastic crib appeared in front of me. She looked sad, almost as if she was hurt. The quick rush of oxygen filling her nostrils, her chest rising and lowering made me feel helpless. I stood there and stared, scared of the unknown. Wanting to make her happy, I slowly walked over and rubbed her silky arm, instantly feeling the joy escape her and spread itself into my body. The smile that appeared on her face reached from ear to ear. All she needed was love, and that smile would stay there. “I love you,” I whispered into my new sister’s delicate ears. I knew she wanted to say it back, but she couldn’t: yet.
Stepping out of the car, I smelled the freshly spread manure and felt the cool Wisconsin breeze rub against my skin. The snow underneath my boots crunching with every step, satisfied my ears. Walking inside, I sat at the old, wooden table next to the wheels supporting my ailing grandpa. “Want to hear the baby airplane joke?” he would always ask me. Moving my lips with his, we said the joke in sync. Each word that flowed out of my mouth matched up with the entertaining words coming out of his. The way he emphasized each syllable and the way his tongue moved fascinated me so much that I never got tired of hearing it. Learning many valuable lessons from my admirable grandpa has helped me through life one smile at a time. Wrapping my arms around his plaid shirt stretched across his shoulders, I gave him one last hug.
Sitting upright in the enormous bed of the white room, my sister, Anna, sat. Staring at the book, she looked as if she was part of the story. Looking calm, she followed the words across the page. Tubes coming out of her, gown and socks on and white sheets covering her tender skin, alarmed me. She had the book laying on her lap, precisely lined up with the crease of the sheet. She looked at me and said, “Read to me.” I started reading, seeing Anna looking completely content. The white tube was carefully placed on her neck, running down her body, tracing the wrinkles in her pale skin. She appeared sick and the feeling of sitting by her, reading, was incredible. Her tiny white teeth appearing behind the pink flesh of her lips, a smile appeared. I smiled back, knowing this moment was going to happen many times over.