This I Believe

Gabriela - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Am My Sister’s Keeper

When growing up I knew from the start how special my baby sister was. She was three years younger than me but more advanced than her age. She was daring, carefree and on top of that, beautiful and I was the opposite of everything she was. But what we experienced as little girls was something no child should every experience and would forever change our lives.

We were children when I first saw for the first time what was about to happen to my sister in the hand of our mother’s sick husband. I intervene by putting myself in her place. I was only six at the time. I was the one that got the worse in the hands of this man he called to be our father. We were so innocent but above it all I knew I had to protector my sister from harms way. On one occasion it was out of my hands, my sister had disobeyed him by undoing her braids at school. He had suspected it but soon confirmed it when he went to school to spy on her. She was only seven. Upon arriving home he questioned her why her braids were so loose. My sister looked at me and through her eyes I could see the fear of helplessness, but I was told to go to my room. I soon heard her screaming and crying as she ran into our room. He had cut off the front of her hair, just mangled it into pieces. She cried uncontrollably as I held her in my arms and I saw what he had done. I consoled her telling her it didn’t look that bad and it would grow back. He brought hell into our lives until our teenage years. I was always there for her; even when a friend ran to tell me my sister was having a fist fight with a boy at the playground. I ran so fast and rammed that boy like a missile, dropping him to his feet. She knew I would be there protecting her.

But this story doesn’t have a happy ending. My sister was murdered in the hands of her ex-boyfriend. He refused to pay child support and made her vanished. Since her body has never been found; he is a free man. I feel like I failed her, I wasn’t there to protect her. She was the glue to our dysfunctional family but I refuse to think her life was in vain. She taught me to be strong, speak my mind and never be afraid. I will keep her memory alive and I will take every opportunity to make sure she is not forgotten. For I am the sister of Marisol Ortiz, I love you. I say her name so you will be one more person that remembers her, for I am my sister’s keeper, THIS I BELIEVE.