My “New” Brother

In mid November 2010, I was just getting used to my sophomore year of high school. I’d had a sleepover with some friends, a normal weekend activity, and my mom picked me up the next day. That was when things stopped being so normal. There was an uncomfortable tension in the air that I’ve never had with my mother before. I was growing more and more nervous thinking that I had done something wrong. That’s when she finally spoke.

She had asked me how I would feel if I found out that I had another brother, and how I liked the idea of being an aunt. So many things were running through my mind, how could this be possible? And why am I just finding out now?My immediate response was shock. Then I was confused and angry. My emotions were like a roller coaster – twisting and turning every time I thought about some stranger coming into my life. I didn’t understand how my parents could keep this from me for fifteen years.I didn’t have long to warm up to the idea of having a new half brother, because my mom had arranged a day for us to meet after Christmas. When this day finally came, my nerves were uncontrollable.

I could smell the lemon scented Pledge and Windex while my mom frantically cleaned the house. I tried putting on a fake smile to hide how uncomfortable that I was really feeling inside. I wanted to be strong and show my younger brother, Doug, that everything was going to be alright.When they finally arrived, we met my not-so-new brother Dennis, his wife Christine, and his three children, Cassadie, Carah, and DJ. The resemblance that I share with my “new” brother is scary. We spent the day learning about each other’s families and about Dennis’ rough childhood growing up in a bad part of the city. He didn’t have a great relationship with his mother, because she was often more involved with the drugs and alcohol surrounding her life.

Growing up in these kinds of circumstances makes a lot of people bitter and angry, but not my brother. He never let his unfortunate past negatively affect how he is today.Meeting my new family was the best Christmas gift that I got that year. Seeing how important family is to Dennis made me realize that I sometimes take my own for granted. He’s opened my eyes and made me realize how lucky I am to have parents that support and encourage me. Having the responsibility of being an aunt, and an older sister to my younger brother, has put me in my place to always think twice before doing something that I’ll regret. Because of them I have become a leader, a mentor, and an overall better person.

I’m kinder, more patient, and much more understanding than I was before. I am somebody that they look up to and come to when they need to talk, and I never want that to change.

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