Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Graduate

Being an older sibling, I have the privilege and opportunity to be a role model and supporter for my younger siblings.    Of course I get to be a full-time Guinea pig for the most part but I also get to be so many other things.    Being older I have insight, experiences, and advise to share with my siblings and during special occasions, the feeling of pride.  

Friday, May 13th was a big day for the family.    My immediate family and my Grandma traveled to the city of West Lafayette, IN to watch the only boy of our family walk across the stage to receive his diploma.    Our Eric was becoming a graduate of Purdue University!   As I was driving to Purdue, so many emotions and questions ran through me as I drove through little towns in between acres and acres of farmland.    Feelings of pride, joy, happiness, excitement, worry, denial, sadness. Questions like: is he ready for the real world?   Will he find a job that he truly loves?   Where will he live?   I know time will eventually put my worries to rest but I just can't help but be the big sister with her sisterly worries.  

I had driven down these roads many times; both alone and with my family to see my brother.     This drive was the final drive that I would be making to this town.     That is when it really hit me.   My baby brother is onto the next chapter of his life!  (One of my favorite parts about the drive to West Lafayette if you take the IN-43 you will pass rows and rows of wind mills.   They are unique and beautiful.)

It was almost hard to believe that five years had gone by and he would be entering into the real world.    No more textbooks, late night's studying, or group projects for him to tackle.    No more meals at the cafeterias, professor office hours, and college parties to attend.    Instead he is journeying to the next chapter in life- adulthood.   How quickly time has gone by and even though I know how fast I am growing up, I find myself forgetting at times that everyone else around me growing up too.   When I think of my little brother (who is not little anymore), so many words and memories always come to mind.    Even though he may be bigger and taller than me, I will always and forever be his older/big sister.  

My brother and I are very close.    Growing up and being only two years apart, we were each others playmates and at times turn into troublemakers.   We were busy bodies together- always doing something and/or going somewhere.   Being the big sister, I would entertain my little brother and spend countless hours by his side.   From the day he was born, I was obsessed with him and knew he was someone special.   I will never forget the hours we would spend playing and building with his LEGOS.   Hours spent coloring on top of his bunk bed, laying on the couch watching our favorite Disney movies, building our legendary forts, and playing outside until dark.   The memories with him are endless.   

Looking back on those times, really makes me realize how lucky I am.     I am a part of my brother's upbringing and contributed to him becoming the man he is in addition to watching him find his passion in life.   His interest in building things was evident from the beginning and here he is, the little boy who would escape to his "work room" to build/fix anything and everything; that little boy is now a grown adult with a degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University under his belt.    I could not be more happy and proud of him. 

To my little brother, Eric:
I am so incredibly proud of you in every way.   It has been such a joy watching you grow up and become the man you are today.   You have so much to look forward too in this next chapter of your life.   I cannot wait to watch you flourish in the real world and see what amazing things you will do.  No matter what bad times and good times that will come, know that you will always have your family by your side.   Congratulations little brother, I am so proud of you. 

I love you always and forever,

Your Big Sister- Jeekaka.  xoxo

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