An unexpected lesson

Brian - Fair Haven, New Jersey
Entered on June 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

An unexpected lesson

I’m currently imagining this isn’t happening. I’m sitting on the basement steps, wishing I could help, but absolutely clueless. My sister is in another room having a seizure, and the rest of my family is tending to her. I’m too scared to go and help.Afraid she might kick me, or I might screw up. This is worse than normal, because my dad keeps shouting when he’s normally calm. The whole family is in a mess. She should be done by now, unconscious or sleeping. But she’s still seizing.

The sound of an ambulance in the distance affirms me that there’s nothing we could have done. A family with no medical equipment, just our hands, our love, and my dad’s knowledge. I take a quick look upstairs to see my sister carried off in a stretcher, still, seizing. I run back to the stairs, sit back down, and attempt to convince myself, that this isn’t, happening.

Six years later, I’m not the same little kid without a clue. I’ve learned how to care for my sister from my dad. How to deal with any big problems she has, as well as the little things. She plays a pivotal role in my life; influencing my character, my morals, and my actions. She’s been my tutor, yet with a kindergarten education.

My sister is 18 years old. She has autism and has developed epilepsy. Yet I still consider her a normal person; the way I’d consider my friends or peers. She’s a cheery girl with a completely positive outlook on life. She does most everything with enthusiasm, or at least tries to act like she does.

She gets on the same bus to school every morning. The same bus as three years ago, I think. I’m not really sure. It’s been a while, but it seems even longer. However, I can’t say she’s changed. She greets everyone she knows with the same cheery smile, and thinks of everyone as a truly good person. It’s something else she’s taught me, but I’m still having trouble learning.

I want to make it clear at this point that no one in this room should be feeling sorry for me, because you don’t need to. I live my life normally. I’ve adapted to acting a certain way to Meghan’s moods, the way you’d adapt to any of your siblings’ mood swings. Don’t know if she understands what I’m saying, but I’m positive she gets the general idea.

My sister has taught me many different lessons, and is a true unsung hero. I, along with the rest of my family, have been caring for my sister for years now, but I truly wonder if she’s caring for us.

I guess I believe that caring for others changes you. You learn from the person you’re caring for, even if you don’t think so. In a relationship like mine, I’ve learned patience and understanding, that everyone should be given a second chance, and almost everyone deserves to be treated kindly. I guess I’m still having trouble with that last one.