I believe in letting go

Sarah - Sharon, Massachusetts
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in letting go. 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 family or my friends and though I realized how selfish I was in my prayers I never stopped.

As I got older I stopped asking god to “make my sister normal” and instead took matters into my own hands. In 7th grade 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 new friends or teachers asked if I had brothers or sisters I would say “ I have a twin sister, Beth, and that’s it.”

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 l had been robbed by her disability. When friends came over I would hide her dolls and coloring books under the couch and tell her to stay in her room because I needed privacy with them.

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.

. “This was it,” I thought, there was no way for me to avoid what was about to happen. We ran into one of my good friends Josh who 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,” she smiled and shied away from his handshake, and 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 in 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 without hesitation. I had finally let go. I always knew that she would never change, but from that moment on I was happy that she wouldn’t.

My conversations with god have changed. I don’t ask for anything now, I thank him, and always for Hillary. I believe that my letting go of what I couldn’t fix 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