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Letters to Steven
My momma used to say, that for every bad thing, something good will happen. I don’t know if I believe her. In a twisted sort of way, I guess she was right. But a whole lot of bad happened to me, before it got better.
My momma also said, that no one was crazy. That some people saw deeper and understood more. More then everyone else. That’s why they didn’t make sense sometimes. She told me that the day she brought home my baby brother after taking him to the doctor. My twin brother, was autistic. But that he wasn’t crazy.
I did everything with them. Dad used to say, that if I wasn’t with Steven and Momma, that I was outside playing catch. I love softball. It’s my dream to become a professional so I can get Steven the best of the best. And have a cool car. We all would laugh and laugh all night long.
That was before the accident. Momma had been wearing her seat belt and everything. She had both hands on the wheel and her cell phone wasn’t even on. It was the other driver. The drunk one.
“Lilly, Steven, your mother is dead.” he told us. That’s what I call him. He. He has a name. It’s Billy, or dad.
Things got really hard after that. My dad, started drinking. He said that it would help us. Then he stayed out really late. It finally got so he was rarely home. Not to mention, I had to take care of my twin brother Steven. I was only 14. My dream of playing softball, was over. I couldn’t even afford a car now.
“oma. Oma! OMA!” Steven would call. He just didn’t get it. Momma was dead. “Illy, ere oma?” he would ask. I didn’t know how to answer. So I told him she would be back soon. What else should I have told him?
My dad and I would fight. All the time. I would yell at him, that it was his responsibility to help and care for us. Not to get drunk. Then he would tell me that I was just a child and didn’t know anything. Then he would go and get drunk again.
So it was just me. Alone. Eventually I dropped out of school. I couldn’t do the homework and watch Steven. Steven didn’t realize that anything was wrong. I realized that we were going to run out of money, so I took a night job. I was flipping burgers at a McDonalds.
I didn’t mean to. I really didn’t. But he had made me so mad! My father had come home drunk with another girl. I was so mad. I thought he was cheating on my dead mother. I told him. He told me I was stupid.
“Stay out of this.” he said in a slurred speech.
“NO! Your cheating on my mom!” I told him.
“In case you didn’t realize, Cathy is dead!”
“Really? No, I guess I didn’t. After all, it’s not like I have been taking care of Steven, dropped out of school, and is flipping hamburgers at a McDonalds. Oh, yeah. And my father, didn’t even notice!”
“NO! I am sick of you getting drunk! Your doing it. Your going to turn into the very person that killed mom! SHE DIDN’T WANT YOU TO DO THIS!” I roared. I had gone way to far. He slapped me. Hard. I was so mad, I hadn’t noticed that Steven was hiding by the front door.
I stormed out of the house. In my fury, I didn’t realize that Steven had followed me. I was walking by the busy street. In the middle of November without a coat on. I crossed Main St. As I turned the corner, I heard the screech. I whipped around to see a car, trying to stop, hit my brother.
I screamed and ran towards him. I got there and could hear someone calling 911. He just lay there, with a stunned expression on his face.
“Illy? Ere oma? I urt. Ere oma, Illy?” he asked. By the time the paramedics reached us, he was dead. And it was all my fault. I hadn’t made sure he was okay. He was following me, and got killed.
At the funeral, someone told me that spirits won’t leave unless the people they leave behind on Earth are okay. I joined back up at school, 3 grades behind my normal grade.
I suppose, it was my English teacher that saved me. She told us all the right down letters. Just to people we know. And not to send them. Tell them how we feel, well, anything. I went home and wrote one.
I miss you. Things are different not. Your not here, Dad is drunk, and Momma is dead. I am all alone. But maybe, your angel will watch over me. Maybe, I am not alone. Please, God, I need help. Tell him that will you? Tell God I need help, Steven. Tell momma I love her.
I wrote a lot of these. Just random ones to him. Telling him how I needed help and I felt alone. And how I didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve to have a drunk dad and dead brother and mother. I hid them in the kitchen cabinet. But Momma always said, those who say sunshine is happiness, have never danced in the rain. I had to find the joy. It was hard, but that the harder it was, the more rewarding. God will watch over his people, she would tell me.
My momma didn’t go to church every Sunday. And she didn’t help out in the class room, or join clubs. Instead, she spent all day and all night watching over Steven. Everyday that I can remember. Momma never complained. She just did it.
I wonder why, It’s not like anyone asked her. Hey, do you want a Autistic kid? Then, you can give up your job, and spend all day and night taking care of him. Oh yeah, did I mention that no one will ever thank you?
It must have been ever worse for Steven. He saw so deep into people, and yet, he could barely talk straight. When he was little, the kids would taunt him and laugh at him. Now he’s dead.
And Dad, he spent all day at a bar. Then, when he came home, (if he did), he was drunk and I wasn’t there. He was trying to drink away the pain. But that doesn’t work. He rarely talks to me. I can’t help but feel bad for him.
And yet, I go to school, and not one person notices. They don’t realize that I am forced to deal with this. They don’t see me as anyone other then the girl that was held back.
Dad called me downstairs today. He wasn’t drunk for once. He told me that he had found the letters I wrote, but never sent. He told me he was sorry. That he would change. That he needed my help and support so he could stop drinking. He would help me out so that I wasn’t behind in school and he would become the Dad he always should have been. I am really happy. Momma is right. There is joy in everything. It’s just hard to find. And your not crazy. I just realized, you always listened to me, and you never complained to me about it. And I never thanked you. Thank you. I am sorry. And that happiness can come from dancing in the rain. I love you. Tell Momma I love her to. I still have a purpose here on Earth. But that I hope you are having a great time up in Heaven.