Hard Times

When I think about who the most influential person in my life is, I would assume it’s someone older but that’s not the case. She’s a feisty 3’4” little girl with gorgeous brown hair and puppy dog eyes that the Grinch couldn’t say no to. Torre or T-bug, as I like to call her is my younger cousin, and although she’s only five, she seems to always brighten up my day.

Sitting and watching her play with her baby dolls and berry-bears with not a care in the world is one of my favorite things to do. The innocence she has about her is refreshing and reminds me of the days when the most important thing I worried about was what toys I should play with first. Now as I sit here trying to plan out the rest of my life with so many options to choose from, I find myself once again longing for the fun filled days of a five year old.

As I have matured over the last couple of years, I’ve realized all the unexpected and horrible things life will throw at people. For instance my aunt and uncle’s divorce followed by my own parents’ divorce were events that really took a toll on me. I felt like my entire world came crashing down in 2 short years, and surprisingly the person that helped me the most through that difficult time was Torre because she was the only one that didn’t treat me any differently. She didn’t constantly ask if I was okay or if I wanted to talk about it; I was just the same person she’d always known. That’s, of course, because she had no clue what was actually going on, but I took great comfort in knowing that she would always be there asking me to color with her or play dress up just like she always had. It breaks my heart to know that she will eventually have to grow up, as does everyone and realize the cruel and unexplainable things that happen in the world. I guess it’s just my wishing she were the little sister I never had, but there’s something inside of me that wants to protect her. I don’t want that sweet little five-year-old girl, whose biggest concern is whether or not she’s going to get dessert after she eats her peas, to have to worry about anything. I don’t her to grow up and get her heart broken or have something awful happen for no reason. She has opened my heart in ways I never thought possible, and I would do anything in the world for her to not have to experience the reality and hardships of life.

I will never forget the day she came up to me hysterically crying because she couldn’t find her My Little Pony. That lasted a good five minutes, and then she was on to something else. In that moment I realized when you’re upset about something, no matter how big the issue is, don’t let it keep you down that long. Something bigger or worse could always happen, so why waste time dwelling on the past. I guess sometimes everyone just needs someone there to remind them that not everything has to be so serious and complicated, and for me that person is Torre. She has taught me more than she will ever realize, and I only hope that I can influence and inspire her in the same ways she has me.





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