Appreciating The Little Things

Anonymous, Guest Writer

What would you do if you knew it was the last time you would see someone you love? Life’s about appreciating the little things, it’s what makes the big picture because at the end of the day all you’re going to have left are memories. 

My older brother was always around growing up, he moved to the United States with our older sister when he was 6. He never had a dad figure in his life due to his dad passing away at an early age, so he was very happy to find out my mom had found a man who would treat her right unlike his dad. My older sister wasn’t a fan of my dad, so she started putting the idea of my dad not being my older brother’s dad into his head. This resulted in my brother isolating himself more from the family because he felt like no one wanted him here and ended up getting into the wrong crowd in school. He eventually started to do things behind my parent’s back and being a dumb teenager experimenting with drugs. 

He eventually ended up going to juvie for a couple of days and jail for about a month, he knew that that wasn’t the kind of life he wanted to live. He ended up living with my parents, little brother, and me, so he started to be around more and we got to spend more quality time together. I was still pretty little at the time but I remember many quality moments with him. I remember one morning my mom wasn’t going to be able to take me to school, so my neighbor was going to take me but I didn’t like her so I started to cry. My brother ended up taking me, we walked to school and I remember we had stopped at a gas station and he bought me some snacks for school. While we were walking holding hands I remember he told me I know you’re little and you’re probably not going to remember when I tell you this but I just want you to know that I love you so much and I am always going to have your back. It’s crazy because I still remember to this day, and he wouldn’t think I would. I remember when we lived together he would always play jokes on my brother and me, he always liked picking on me because I was the most gullible. I loved the feeling of having an older brother who was “cool”, who can carry me, and who could take me to school. I remember at the time I would find him annoying because he would always scare me and pick on me. But now I wish I could go back to those days just to appreciate it a bit more. 

On December 31st, 2014 at about 7 pm, my parents, little brother, and I were heading out to celebrate New Year at my cousin’s house but he didn’t end up going with us because he was going to hang out with a friend. I remember that day he was making fun of me because I was wearing this knitted pink and white scarf with some boots, and he picked me up and we were pretending we were on a roller coaster. We ended up leaving the house and I said bye and I would see him next year lol, I remember he had told me he was going to show me his new shoes when I got back home. My family and I eventually got home and I saw he wasn’t home but I didn’t think much of it because he would stay out late sometimes. I woke up the next morning and he wasn’t here and neither was my mom. The night of New Year, he and his friend were hanging out and it turned out they were at the wrong place, wrong time because a car pulled up by them and shot a guy blank in the head. The police came quickly and my brother and his friend weren’t able to go because the police thought they were involved. We knew it was going to be a long process, and I didn’t know when I would see him again. He spent almost 2 years awaiting sentencing, they couldn’t find anything that would lead to him being a part of the act but they still had him from prison to prison. We would send letters back and forth, I would cry every time I would write to him and there were many times I would just cry myself to sleep because I missed him. He finally got sentenced and it was only for another 2 years because he was high on marijuana at the time and it was illegal, he also had minor charges, and because he was finally found not guilty.  Due to his good behavior, he would be able to get out sooner. Finally came the time where he could be getting out and we can be passed all this, I was so happy when I found out he would be getting out soon. But just when things felt like they were getting better, he was getting released from prison and immigration was outside waiting for him because it turns out something had gone wrong with his DREAMERS paperwork. When I found out that happened I started crying, I knew it was a possibility but I still wished for the best. He ended up getting deported and has been in Mexico for 3 years now. So I haven’t seen him in about 7 years I would say, we now text constantly and he always gives me great advice and helps me stay motivated. He is not proud of the things he’s done in his past but he does act and sound like a brand new person. I just hope I can one day go to Mexico and see him again, I miss him so much I could cry about it. 

In conclusion, appreciate the moments you have with your siblings, family, friends, and people you care about because you never really know if that will be the last time you talk to them. It’s crazy to think about all this going on because I remember I would always hear the quote, “you don’t know what you have until it is no longer there” and not until it happened did I understand the meaning. Although I am also not proud of all the things my brother has done in the past, this whole journey has shown me that every action has a consequence whether it be good or bad. I have become stronger and more hopeful in life due to him not being around for 7 years of my life. I still miss him so much and love him so much and I have hope we will be able to see each other again one day and finally get to see those sneakers he had wanted to show me and get that hug I have been craving for so many years that my pillow had been replacing.