Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
My Sister's Keeper
"Throw her away" are the first words I screamed to my mom as she held my new sister in her arms. Weighing in at a meager five pounds and six ounces, this extraterrestrial being, whom my family calls Stephanie, was welcomed into a world dominated by a tantrum-throwing older sibling. At the time, my two year old self did not understand why my parents had stone cold faces and worried expressions as they waited to see the doctor in the delivery room. It was only later did the doctors explain that their newborn child was diagnosed with an extreme form of asthma.
Now on the eve of Stephanie's fifteenth birthday, I have come to the realization that my baby sister has taught me the meaning of perseverance and sacrifice. For the last fifteen years I would learn that the self-centered world where I once lived, did not contain enough room for the one person I call my hero.
The struggles of my sister's illness drove me to battle my selfishness. Naturally, there were days where I woke up and decided I would be frustrated with my sister for being too sick to go outside and play. However, such immaturity prolonged the ignorance I had towards the severity of the disease and towards the feelings of my sister. It wasn't until my parent's divorce at age ten did I truly comprehend the magnitude of my influence on Stephanie and my responsibilities to protect her.
On vacations to our father's house, 400 miles from Los Angeles, it was clear that I would sacrifice spending time with my friends to assume my role as her guardian. I would take every opportunity to meticulously memorize ingredients of certain foods in hopes of preventing asthma attacks. Monthly visits to the doctor became a living textbook as the allergy specialists diagramed the effects outside irritants had on her lungs. Their abilities to heal enthralled me so much so that I would secretly stash informational pamphlets down my shirt so I could study them in private. It was then did I embrace my fascination with the doctor's ability to heal and comfort my sister and me during a time when life's circumstances drained our hopes. Never before did I realize that doctors can transcend beyond their preconceptions as serious and stern to become my counselor and friend. I told myself that someday I would become the physician that not only cures their patients, but one that encourages and invests in their lives through life's obstacles.
The perseverance the doctors and my sister had in overcoming her disease taught me the meaning of patience. When life becomes a storm, sometimes it is better to not ask for it to go away. Rather, we can take it as an opportunity to grow in character and resilience. In caring for my sister I learned to see her disease as a blessing. Without it, I would not have known the meaning of courage and its role in triumphing over obstacles.
My journey as a high school student ends in seven months. The very idea of leaving my baby sister already saddens me as graduation day comes nearer. The best friend that pokes, tortures, and teases me will no longer be a room away. However, 15 years later, I humbly come to my sister thanking her for molding me in me the servant heart needed to become a medical doctor. In the next few years, I hope to act as a sister to hundreds of my future patients.