I Believe in Appreciation

Eileen - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, gratitude

I grew up the youngest of 3 children. My sister and I got along pretty well, but I thought that my brother was the vain of my existence. I always dreamed of being an only child, and day brother going to college was as close as I was going to get.

I prayed for its quick arrival and crossed days off my calendar until it had finally come. I said my good-byes, told him I would miss him, and watched his car disappear over the horizon. He was finally gone. But as I walked back into my house, there was a sort of emptiness about it. I figured that as time wore on it would grow on me and I would love having it this way.

But, as days and even weeks passed, I realized that the house was not going to be the same. With my brother around, the food in the kitchen was always gone, the bathroom always taken up, the phone line never free, and the television always turned on to some kind of sports game. But with him gone, the house was quiet, the refridgerator full, bathroom empty, phone line free, and the television was off. I never would have believed when I was younger that I would have missed all this, but I did. I missed the things that I have never appreciated before; I had always just concentrated on the negative things. I missed playing football with my brother in the backyard, yelling at the television during a particularly intense sports game; I even missed the fights that we had about who would get to use the phone and bathroom at night and in the morning. His bedroom was the first one on the second floor; I saw it multiple times a day. When he was home, there were always random piles of clean/dirty laundry, books, and whatever other junk he had on his floor that he claimed was important for him to keep. His bed was never made and the floor never visible. But after he had gone, his room was always empty. I had never known how much I had loved all of these things before they were all gone.

I believe in the appreciation of all things, no matter how annoying they may seem to a person. My brother was somebody who I couldn’t WAIT to leave, and now I look forward to his phone calls and visits. I have learned to appreciate all that I have, because when it is gone I will never be able to get it back.