I believe in giving up

Sarah - Sharon, Massachusetts
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in letting go and I believe in giving up. I spent the entirety of my childhood and teenage years wishing for a change that would never come. I kneeled down beside my bed every night and reasoned out loud with god. I never prayed for my friends or family and though I was selfish in my prayers I never stopped

Change never came but instead of accepting that it wouldn’t I took matters into my own hands. When I started a new school and was assigned to make a family tree I opted to leave her photo and name out of the collage. When teachers asked if I had brothers or sisters I would say “ I have a twin sister, Beth, and that’s it.” Before friends came over I would nervously run around the house hiding her dolls and coloring books under the couch. I had perfected a lie and truly thought living it made me happier.

For me our family was tainted by Hillary. She was three years older than Beth and I but mentally would always be six. Despite my loving parents and comfortable life I felt robbed by my sisters disability.

I feared my high school graduation as if it were the end of my life. I begged my parents to leave Hillary home but they refused. I wasn’t overwhelmed with nervousness but instead with my realization that there was no way for me to hide her this time. To say I was panicked would be an understatement; I was horrified.

Of course the inevitable happened when we ran into one of my good friends Josh. I had known him since we were twelve and he had no idea I had an older sister. He shook hands with my dad and gave my mom a hug. Without even thinking I blurted out “ this is my older sister Hillary, I don’t think you have ever met,” I felt dizzy with anxiety as I watched for her reaction. She smiled and shied away from his handshake, he told her it was nice to meet her and walked away.

After the reception Hillary handed me a card and on the inside scribbled in crayon she wrote “ I am proud of you.” I am sure that no matter what my future holds I will never feel more ashamed of myself than I did at that moment. There in the parking lot I cried eighteen years of tears as I hugged my sister in public for the first time. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was but I knew she wouldn’t understand. Instead I told her that I loved her and she reciprocated, as always, without hesitation.

My conversations with god have changed. I don’t ask for anything now, I thank him, and always start with Hillary. I believe giving up on what I always wished for gave me the most valuable relationship I will ever know. I believe that no one else will ever be able to teach me more about myself than Hillary has. I believe that there is a reason we can’t change everything, and I owe my happiness to that very restriction