This I Believe

Ashlee - Richmond, Kentucky
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

A tragic fatality occurred too early for my memory to recall. My mother gave birth to myself and a twin brother. He passed away after a few months of health complications. It’s hard for my mom to talk about. It was too hard for me to ask. I didn’t want my mom’s feelings to be hurt so I wouldn’t risk asking questions. I know the basics. My brother and I were premature by one month and two weeks. His lungs were formed but not completely. He also had a very weak heart. It was a miracle he lived the three months that he did. Ashton was a fighter. Sometimes you can’t win the battle, but he gave life his biggest fight.

I sit and wonder what if he was in my life right now. Would things be different? Would my personality still be the same? I obviously wouldn’t have the typical only child attitude. Spiritually I feel like a part of my life stems from the loss of his. I’ve always been a mystery by day. What I mean by that is my peers wouldn’t know if I was going to show up for school with basketball shorts, and a tee shirt; Or on another day if I was going to be in a fashionable dress with high heels. My mood changes daily. My mother sat down with me and said “Ashlee, I never know if it’s a boy or girl day for you.” Before that I never realized my indecisiveness.

I recently started working as a lead teacher of one and a half — two year old children. Monday I go to work exhausted wanting to quit the seven o’clock (arrival time) job, and then one of my twelve kids says “I love you.” My troubles disappear. I’ve never been very interested in taking care of young kids on a daily basis. But, this job makes me smile from the first to the final hour of each week.

Do you ever wonder what kind of kid you were? Were you the funny, shy, or the happy one? Or maybe were you the bitter, pincher, or the bully? Just maybe you were the cuddling type, or what is known as the lap baby. Sometimes I wish that I could go back as a fly on the wall just to see. I would actually love for Ashton to be with me.

I sat down with my grandmother to ask her what kind of toddler I was. My mother worked a lot so I spent a substantial amount of time with her. She said what I was expecting to hear. I was a quiet, a type of loner, and outside loving baby. The desire to play alone is typical for children who have lost a sibling in their young life; Especially a child who lost a twin. The outside loving aspect of my personality is one that I still have trouble comprehending. I love to be outside, to get muddy, and feel the fresh air. But, I was always outside doing my activities by myself or with the neighbors I remember when they were told to go inside was my cue as well. My family would be labeled as “inside people” so it was always a question of where I got that from.

This I believe… I believe that by the lost of my brother at such a young infant age,

spiritually I have lived my life for myself and him as well. He’s always been a part of my life, and a part of my personality. Ashton will continue to watch out for me, and I will continue my will to make a great life for the both of us.