This I Believe

Melissa - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of an individual and the influence of a sibling. My brother is one of the most influential and most important people that exist in my life. He shows me how to be strong and work out and the troubles I go through and come out on top. Although he faces many difficulties, he triumphs over his set backs. My brother was in a tragic accident when he was very young.

When my brother was around the age of three, he was a curious little boy, following my mom and dad around pointing at things. He liked to learn everything about everything. One day, while helping my dad who was in the garage tuning up his motorcycle, something happened that would change the rest of his life and the lives of those in my family. He was just being his curious self, and he pointed at my father’s motorcycle to ask what something was. The motorcycle was running and my father’s back was turned and my brother’s right index finger got caught in the chain of the motorcycle. No matter how much the doctor’s tried, after several surgeries, my brother was left with nine and a half fingers. I’ve never known my brother in any other way shape or form, and I wouldn’t change my experiences with him. He’s always taught me to accept who I am and not be ashamed of it, and he has set an example of this by the way he lives his life everyday.

But the thing that sets my brother aside form other people who might wallow in self pity and put themselves down, is that he has never let anyone put him down, nor has he ever thought of himself as not being normal or equal to anyone else. Instead, my brother indulges in the idea that he is unique, because of what happened. Even though he was only a child, he stood strong and even after his multiple surgeries to reconstruct his hand, he still was just one of the kids. He played soccer and football like any other boy his age; he learned to write, even though it was difficult at first. He started to play the guitar, taking up practicing as a sort of therapy because even though he was not “normal” he was just as good at it, maybe even better than most. He still plays to this day in a band, and they call him by his nickname, “Stub.” He laughs at this moniker with and doesn’t take literally. I believe that he in fact likes being called by his nickname, even though I still enjoy calling him Timmy. I love my brother with all my heart and I take his struggle as an example that no matter how bad things may seem, I can always work through them and come out on top.