I grew up hating my sister.
I remember wishing she was never born.
Especially when it became my responsibility as her older brother to teach her the alphabet, mathematics, and how to do chores.
From hooked-on-phonics to walks to the library, I tried everything a 10-year-old kid could possibly try, but it always resulted in frustration and failure.
It felt so unfair. Why did my friends have siblings to play with, siblings to bully, siblings to take care of...and all I had was her?
The hallways seemed so narrow when I would pass her by. She would scream out "hi!" and I would look the other way.
She was a part of the group that sat at lunch with adults, along with other kids that made strange sounds. People would walk by and call them names like "retards" which made my blood boil.
But I was too prideful to stand up for her and them.
Her face would light up, and she screamed with joy whenever she would see me.
I was so embarrassed that I often found ways to make sure no one would see.
Everyone pities her because they think she doesn't have a shot at life. With no real friends, and no real chance, I was sure she felt alone.
At home, she had nothing to say and nothing to do. I hated that I had to take care of her and teach her things because I felt no one else would help. Her helplessness made me feel helpless.
As time went on, we grew apart and I went on with life. I helped her less to help myself and thought that I would be happy. I moved away to be alone.
Then some of the hardest parts of life came to me and I began to feel helpless. I saw how much has changed.
People getting older, different friends appearing in and out of my life, and everything else changing as well.
But one thing has always stayed the same.
And that was her.
I realized that I don't have much in my life, but I do have her. Whenever I would return home, her greeting is all I would look forward to.
Just like the days in the hallways, her face still lights up when she screams "Hi!" to me.
I always pitied her thinking that she will never have a shot at life and how alone she must feel. That was until I felt alone without her and realized that we will always have each other.
She might not have a shot at a life that many live, but her life is certainly unique. She is the purest and nicest soul I know.
If she can only know how to do one thing, that is to be kind and love genuinely.
Although I have spent my entire life trying to teach her lessons as time goes, I really feel like she was the one teaching me all along.
She has taught me how to be patient, kind, loving, and has shown me that she is brilliant in her own way.
It pains me to know that I never appreciated her until later in life.
But perhaps I had to grow up hating my sister to realize that I was only loving her all along.