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Monday, October 3,2011

My Big Brother

First! say to yourself what you would be and then do what you have to do.


I never thought that the absence of smelly socks and loud music would make my heart ache. But my brother is off at college, and at age 14, I miss him terribly.

We share a rare kind of closeness for siblings, but then, my brother is a rare kind of guy. Of course he´s smart and kind, plus my friends say he is gorgeous and all that.

But it´s more how he handles things, how he treats his friends and his family, how he cares about people that makes me so proud. That´s the stuff that I aspire to be.

If it´s okay with you, I would like to show you what I mean ...

He applied to 14 colleges. He was accepted to all but one, the one he wanted, Brown University. So he opted for his second choice, and off he went to a fine though uneventful first year. When he came home for summer vacation, he informed us that he had came up with a plan. He was going to do whatever it took to get into Brown. Would we support him?

His plan was to move to Rhode Island near Brown, find a job, and do whatever he could to become known in the area. He´d work his heart out, he said, and do the very best at everything. Someone, he was sure, would notice. This was a big deal for my parents because it meant agreeing to a year without college, a scary thing for them. But they trusted him and encouraged him to do whatever he thought it would take to achieve his dream.

It wasn´t long before he was hired to produce the plays at-yes, you guessed it-Brown. Now was his chance to shine, and shine he did. No task was too big or too small. He put every bit of himself into the job. He met teachers and administrators, talked to everyone about his dream and never hesitated to tell them what he was after.

And sure enough, at the end of the year, when he reapplied to Brown, he was accepted.

We were all really happy, but for me the happiness went very deep. I learned an important lesson-a lesson no one could have taught me with words, a lesson I had to see with my own eyes. If I work hard for what I want, if I keep trying after I´ve been turned away, my dreams also can come true. This is a gift still held in my heart. Because of my brother, I trust life.

Recently, I flew to Rhode Island all by myself to visit him, and I had a blast hanging out for a week in an apartment without parents. The night before I left, we were talking about all kinds of stuff like boyfriends, girlfriends, peer pressure and school. At one point, my brother looked me right in the eye and said he loved me.

He told me to remember to never do anything that I feel isn´t right, no matter what, and never to forget that I can always trust my heart.

I cried all the way home, knowing that my brother and I will always be close, and realizing how lucky I am to have him. Something was different; I didn´t feel like a little girl anymore. Part of me had grew up on this trip, and for the first time thought about the important job that I had waiting for me at home. You see, I have a 10-year-old little sister. It looks as though I´ve got my work cut out for me. But you know I had a great teacher. Lisa Gumenick


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