Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
By Mary Lisa
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As I grew, he was my friend and protector. We walked to and from school together. We played well and shared everything. Sometimes he played with my dolls to please me and sometimes I played cowboys and Indians to please him.
When he reached junior high school age and was old enough to do odd jobs to earn a little money, he generously shared what he bought with me. Usually, he took me with him on his shopping trips and let me choose small items I wanted, too. As he reached his teens, I crisped up his shirts and pants with the iron before school, as well as a child could, because he told me that he wanted to look extra nice to attract a certain girl in class. We looked out for each other.
One of our shared birthdays is forever etched in my memory. The year we turned ages 10 and 12, I was especially touched by his thoughtfulness. Our birthdays came and, on that afternoon after school, he proudly surprised me with a beautiful little sterling silver ring. I knew we had no money for gifts that year and I hadn’t gotten him anything. I asked him how he managed to buy it. He said he saved his lunch money for a whole week to surprise me with that ring. I was impressed that he would go without lunches to save money and even more touched that he chose to spend it on me. I hadn’t even thought to go hungry to get him a gift.
I’ll always remember this act of kindness. I learned true generosity from my brother; the kind of generosity that gives freely and asks for nothing in return.
Today, he’s the father of eight children and we rarely see one another because of physical distance. As we live our separate lives, he’s still my friend and protector with the big heart, and we always look out for each other. When he telephones to check on me, I still recall the childlike teasing twinkle in his blue eyes and the caring in his voice. He likes to reminisce about our childhood together and always ends his conversations with “I love you.”
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