By Soraya, age 17, Texas
There are two guys who will always be a big part of me - these two guys are the best! They are my two big brothers. My family is so very important to me, but they stand out the most. While growing up I was left to struggle without a dad. He walked out on us when we were very young. Life was difficult and it always seemed like a test to us. I don't think I've ever realized how much my two brothers helped me through this painful process. I didn't have the best dad, or the life of a princess, but they made it so much better and so much more liveable. I can't tell you how many times they have made me smile or made the pain seem like nothing. They are very strong, and that's why they're my heroes. It's crazy, because many brothers and sisters fight a lot, but we don't. Maybe it's the fact that they're on their own and I don't get to see them that often. Or maybe it's that I'm so grateful for all the times they have helped me out.
Paul - he's my 23 year old brother - I'm like a friend to him. I know things about him not everyone knows. I can trust him with anything and I feel safe because he would do anything to protect me. I was his little princess until my baby sister came along, but it's all good because now I'm his friend. We hang out a lot. We go to the movies, to eat, or even shopping. It's rare because not every girl likes to hang out with her big brother, but I do. We are so different, and it's funny - he says I'm too "girly". Hey, I'm a girl. What more can he expect?! I remember how he would go work with my uncle on the weekends. He would save up so he could take my older sister and me to the mall. With my mom working two jobs to pay for the rent and all the bills she couldn't really afford to buy anything for us. My brother, knowing this, went to work to be able to buy us things. Never in my life am I going to forget this ... EVER! I love him so much! I'm so thankful that Paul is my big brother.
Gustavo - he's my 21 year old brother. He is the type of brother who, even though we are not close, is always going to be there for me. He is my other inspiration to want to succeed in life. I can always ask him for anything - for money, advice, or help with something. He would give anything just so I can have a better life than he did. I love him so much because he makes me stronger in every situation. He talks to me about life. And I've seen him struggle on his own - he is so strong! I want to be able to repay him for everything by becoming successful. I know that I will always remember how he always took care of us.
I thank God for putting both of them in my life. Even though my life is not perfect or as good as I would like, He made sure to include them, which I can say is way better than anything else! Enjoy your siblings, and love them until the end. God knows why he made them a part of your life. And just like they have made me proud, I want to be able to return their favors, because I know that seeing their little sister succeed in life is way better than anything else.
I have never complained about missing my dad. I didn't realize how they both took his spot, and I can say that I wouldn't have it any other way. When I felt alone and weak, I could always turn to them to pull me through. I love them so much, and they mean the world to me ... more than words could speak.