I have been told many times, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Until recently, I always thought whoever was telling me that must have thought that I took things for granted. I knew that I loved my friends and family, but I didn’t know just how much of an impact one person had on my life until they were gone, or at least until it seemed that way.
As I watched my parents trying to wake my older (and only) brother and listened to them saying his name over and over, I began to feel my face gain heat and tears well up in my eyes. My brother, my backbone, was passed out in the hall and not waking up. He had had surgery on his mouth the day before and was given medicine that lowered his blood pressure to reduce the excessive bleeding that we were expecting.
Like someone in a movie would see shots of their past as a truck cam head-on to them, I imagined times of our childhood together. I saw simple times, like him reading to me in different, funny voices for each character and us playing car games on a road trip to Kansas. I saw fun times of us playing in the back yard on a rare snow day and of us driving to Illinois with his friends for my first of many laser tagging trips. Although all of this happened in just a few moments, it felt like an eternity. Relieved and able to breathe again, I finally heard my brother moan and ask what had happened. Drying my face from the tears and walking to help my mom get my brother to his bed, I imagined what I would be doing at that moment if I didn’t have certain people in my life.
That evening, I realized how important my brother is in my life and the huge impact that he had had on it. A lot of my happy family memories not only include him, but were caused by him. I learned that one person can change your life forever, and the fact that they’re there or not makes a big difference.
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