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Missing Lindsey This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , houston, TX
I remember the year of 2004 like it was yesterday. As a child, my hero had always been my older sister, Lindsey. Having an older sister made me feel like I had guidance beyond just my parent’s, but from someone that knew me the most. Having her there to help me through tough times in life gave me a feeling of reassurance throughout my childhood years. However, when I was eleven years old, I had to learn how to live without the guidance of my sister. I had to learn that even the strongest people fall down sometimes, but that it is up to family to pick them back up.

Lindsey had always been my inspiration. Not only was she an incredible person, but also she was the only one that could put a smile on my face when I was about cry. However, in the year of 2003, her world started to crumble. Even though she was happy on the outside, I knew that she was hiding a secret from the family. Not only had Lindsey been abusing drugs, but as well as alcohol. Her decisions filled my heart with hurt. I was enraged that she kept ruining her life, but I knew I could not do anything about her choices. Each day I felt like I was losing a little bit more of her, and getting more of someone that I did not know. I knew my mom was hurting with all the stress of trying to help Lindsey, but it only resulted with her last option.
“Your sister is going to boarding school,” my mom told me quietly. I remember feeling the warm tears fall slowly as I heard the words that I prayed would never be said. I ran to my room and slammed the door behind me. I knew that my sister had been abusing drugs and alcohol for a year, but I never imagined she would take it that far. Being only fourteen, Lindsey was forced out of the habits that were slowly ruining her life. I had never been so disappointed in my entire life. My anger overflowed each time I looked her in the eyes. At the very moment I heard that devastating news in the year of 2004, I felt as if my entire relationship with my sister was worthless. I still remember the cold car ride on the way to the airport. The silence that filled the car felt unending. For one year, Lindsey lived at a therapeutic boarding school in Utah called New Haven. 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 goodbye, I refused to let myself think that she was truly leaving.
“I love you,” Lindsey whispered as she boarded the plane. I had nothing to say. I was so filled with anger that I could not even bare to look at her. My head was overflowing with thoughts. I did not know what I was going to do with the information I was still trying to take in. Even though I thought that my world was going to fall apart, I later realized that even though Lindsey was gone, it helped me as well as my family see just how close we really are. It made me see the true meaning of family, and the value of love towards family as well.

The year without Lindsey went by slower than ever. The hall’s of the house were quieter, and my mom’s sparkle in her eyes were now gone. I knew how much pain it was for my mom to send away Lindsey, but I also knew that it was not a choice. So many memories stuck with me that year, reminding me not to forget her. Each time I walked by the staircase, it reminded me of when Lindsey and I would slide down them on a small air mattress. Each time I went swimming, it reminded me of the time we jumped in the pool the night before Christmas and almost froze to death. Each time I went on the trampoline, it reminded me of the time she double bounced so high that I went flying off. Each time I rode my horse, it reminded me of the many times we would race, or the time we both fell off our horses because we couldn’t stop laughing. The memories overflowed my head as I forced myself to live that year without the guidance of Lindsey. Without her I became stronger because I learned that I am capable of doing many things on my own, such as riding a bike. I learned how to live without her constantly there to help me 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 if she can not go to family for love in the end, then who could she go to? I knew that if she couldn’t turn to family, then she would turn to drugs and alcohol, so I learned to have open arms to her no matter what she was going through. After a whole lonely year without Lindsey, it was finally ready for her to come home. Two month’s before the day, I had started a countdown. I felt the nerves pumping in my body. I felt as it I was about to receive a brand new car, or as if I had just won a trip to Europe. Finally, after a year of waiting for her return, it was time. The second car ride to the airport was full of happiness and excitement. There was no doubt that my mom was also anxious to finally have her back. Once we arrived at the airport, my eyes immediately met hers. The warm tears once again came to my eyes, but this time with happiness. I sprinted out of the car and towards the familiar face I had missed so much. My arms wrapped around her as she also began to cry. We hugged for almost a solid five minutes before my mom got around to her. Her face was much more mature, now that she was 15. She also had gotten taller. The car ride home, she told us all about the friends’ she had made, and the struggles she had faced while she was at the boarding school. Surprisingly, she thanked my mom for sending her there. With tears once again in her eyes, she apologized to the whole family for the decisions she had made, but reassured us that she would never make the same ones again. Those words were like music to my ears. I felt so relieved that I had my sister once again. At the time, I could not of been any happier. Once we got home, I knew that Lindsey would get another chance to keep her choices straight.

When Lindsey came home, not only did we have a stronger relationship, but also we learned to always be there for each other. Even to this day, we share everything with each other and never hesitate to help with a situation. I felt so overjoyed that I could start over with her and just forget all the mistakes she had made. My mom once told me a couple of words that completely described our family.

She said, “Even though we don’t have it all together, together we have it all.” Just these words explain the reason it is so important for my family to always be there to support one another, because we all know that if we can do that, we can have it all.





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