How Jerry’s Sister Changed My Life

Little brothers were engineered to annoy their sibling; luckily for me my little brother kept that to a minimum. For me my little brother was my best friend. Jerry was always athletic; any sport he played, did he excelled in. His intelligence was enlightening. My favorite characteristics however, was his heart; his heart was full of love. Jerry always saw the beauty in people, and nature. Sadly, he never saw the beauty in himself. Jerrys teenage years were not easy. I always knew how important jerry was for me, however, I never realized how much he would change my life.

By one thing he attempted when he was a teenager, I was never the same person– he was never the same person. When Jerry was born, I no longer needed an imaginary friend; I was no longer the lonely “only child”; finally I was blessed with a little brother of my own. Anyone who encountered Jerry loved him immediately, his personality was one to admire. His smile would light up a room, and his laugh was as relaxed as his attitude. His tan skin, jet black hair, and his obnoxious sparkly teeth made the younger girls crazy.

His body was one of a defensive lineman, with his broad back, an intimating stature. Jerrys kindness defined him, believing that everyone was equal even at a young age, inspired me. One night, while watching the third season of American Idol the famous “she bangs” Asian singer (William Hung) preformed his unforgettable act, immediately the judges belittled his performance; tears following down his face as if someone had hit him, he questions the judge’s opinion: “why is he making fun of him, it’s not funny. He’s trying his best. ” I found that hilarious.

Jerry was innocent for a young boy, whose generation was slowly being corrupted, it was memorable. His innocence carried on up to about 13 years old, when he officially stopped believing in Santa. Jerry was everything I wasn’t, athletic, huge hearted, smart, and his inability to see the worst in the world. At such a young age, he inspired me and didn’t even know it. Being Jerrys sister, however, acquired a mount some of responsibilities; especially during elementary school. Being as though our parents enrolled us in a small catholic school, it was rather easy for Jerrys teachers to track me down.

Once he was old enough to get enrolled, he made a mark on school, and let’s just say they weren’t always great ones. Although jerry was smart, he always choose to make his life difficult. Going to grade school with jerry was an adventure, to say the least. During his rebel stage, he would forge our parent’s signature and get caught, he would constantly lie about missing homework. Jerry was great in many things, but lying wasn’t his “thing”. As some random points throughout the year my name would be called through the loud speaker about 6 times a day. This was Jerrys hardest stage, I never understood why?

Was it the school, or did he just want attention? I never knew, but I did what I could to protect and defend him. A memorable period during my middle school stage, was when he “ran away”, during my sixth grade lunch period. Innocently eating lunch with my classmates, it wasn’t even ten minutes into my first bite of the delicious turkey sand which I had; I was rudely interrupted by: “Angelika Crespo, Sister Barbara would like to see you. ” Immediately, I knew my sisterly duties were being called. I was then informed he ran away, and I was to go find him around the perimeter.

It wasn’t till about 5 minutes that I see a little brown chubby hand waving in a door frame. Rolling my eyes, I grab his little hand and bring him back. Our childhood, consisted of covering for each other, I wouldn’t tell my parents when he would fail a test, and I would sometimes actually be that forged signature. I remember the first time I snuck out my house, of course jerry was not minding his business and caught me. He told me to be careful, and that he would call if mom woke up, he always covered for me; years later I would sneak him to his girlfriend’s house in the middle of the night.

The greatest part was that we rarely fought, but when we did it was a scene. I was once called a “bad sister” offended I slapped him in the face, so he proceeded to throw a Bagel bite at my face, imagine my reaction when it was sliding down my cheek, he had great aim. Eventually however, I had to find who I was without Jerry, we went to different high schools, I had my first boyfriend, etc. I grew up, although our relationship was still strong, there was somewhat of a distance. That is life, we grow up and it is no longer bagel bites running down your face.

During my personal rebel stage, during my senior year of high school, I had to apply to colleges, it was evident that I was going to a college far from home. It wasn’t easy for any of us, since we had such a close knit family, but they were supportive. I would be lying if I said it was easy for me. I cried every day, I even filled out an application for Temple University. I missed home. My mom called me every day, sometimes I could even hear the tears in her eyes, she would express her emptiness and how my brother was. She explained that it was hard for him, he was different.

Although, this killed every internal organ in my body, I knew I had to grow up at some point. After a various change of majors, I could say that Penn State shaped who I knew I wanted to be. I felt stronger as a person, and I finally felt as if I was destined for something greater, something I never felt at home. I was my own person, not Jerrys sister, or the golden child my parents always hoped for me, I was me. It was different. As I saw jerry without me, I always felt a sense of sadness, as if something was missing from him. I knew it wasn’t me.

Still to this day I know that Jerry is different, much different than me. Those feelings of sadness and emptiness didn’t arise from just midair. It began when he was younger, as much as I told myself he was just young and being a kid, I always knew jerry was different. He used to get angry easily which lead to tears of rage. At times it frightened me. I described him as handsome and tan, and bigger built, but he never saw himself that way. Instead, when he saw himself, he deemed himself ugly, and fat. I officially learned that during my junior year of high school, when I came home from school.

With dark clouds and a gloomy day, I walked to the sanctuary I called home for Jerry and me. I walk in, immediately sensing something negative in the air, I anxiously sat down, and I heard the words I never expected (but always feared) come from my father’s weak and depressed voice “Jerry attempted to commit suicide. ” I later come to find out that jerry wouldn’t be home for a couple weeks, or even longer. Worst part of it all, was I was too “young” to go see him. You see, jerry went to an all-boys high school, where they didn’t make his life easy, they made fun of him every day, he never told us.

Remember earlier in the story when I explained his good qualities was kind hearted and an incredible ability to love? Well Jerrys weakness was that he never loved himself. He detested himself so much, that it drove him to take a bottle of pills and commit suicide. Luckily he failed, he was admitted to a hospital, where he was able to cope with his attempted suicide and talk to peers that helped him, in ways my family nor I could of. There is much to the story, which I know very little of, simply because we never spoke about it.

Jerry spent almost a month at the clinic, however, I never got my cute and innocent brother back. I will be honest, and say that selfishly I immediately thought about how I failed as a sister, as my father was spilling those words from his mouth. I felt hurt that I truly believed we were strong enough as brother and sister that he would come to me. However, he didn’t feel that way at all. I’ve only a three heart breaks in my short 21 years, and that was one of them. However, I saw more strength in him then I ever have. At this point you are probably wondering if I am crazy, how his he strong if tried to commit suicide.

Well here it is, he is strong because even in his weakest moments he wakes up and seizes the day, no matter how depressed he may feel that day. He is strong because he is able to speak to me now when he might feel down. I will never truly understand what drove him to attempt such a tragedy, and I am sure he doesn’t understand why either. Today, Jerry is at Penn State Altoona. Where he is a freshman, having fun like any normal college student, he plays baseball where he is an exemplify catcher. Sadly, I am internally aware of his occurring depression, my sisterly instincts just tell me so.

Which is why I choose to write this paper about Jerry. My hope for Jerry is that someday he sees himself the way I have always seen him: Handsome, Loving, and Extraordinary. He truly makes me proud every day. My hope for him is that he achieves absolute greatness and realizes his worth, because it’s grand. I hope that he enriches the lives of kids that have suffered much life himself. I hope that when he feels sad, he thinks back on the bagel bite fight. Everything I hope for jerry-¬¬–from the good and the bad—I hope he will see them too.