When I was fourteen, my family of five dropped down to a family of four. Now before I get ahead of myself nothing horrible like a death in the family occurred. Instead it was something good that happened, amazing even. My older brother Corey was given the opportunity to study golf at a prep school in Florida. This prep school had a golf academy affiliated with it, Core Golf Academy. My brother was only sixteen at the time but he had just finished the best golf season of his life and left for the sunshine state brimming with confidence. The rest of the family had different reactions. My father, much like my brother, couldn’t contain his pride and would tell everyone within hearing distance that his son studied at Core Academy. My mother was a mess, to put it nicely. She threw herself into planning everything; his flight, packing his bags, teaching him how to do laundry… But we all knew she was trying to make up for the fact that she felt awful about letting her sixteen year old son, her only son, go off to school in another country without her. My sister was also quite upset by his departure. She once again proved to us that her and my mother share more than just their appearance by helping prepare Corey and by pretending that she was fine with him leaving. There is only a year and a few months separating my brother and sister in age and I’ve always felt that they had a special bond because of this. I, on the other hand, was elated by my brother’s departure. I relished at the idea of spending nine months of the year without him. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my brother, how could I not? But most days, I didn’t really like him. I found him arrogant and rude. I hated the way my parents favored him and let him get away with everything. Most of all, I hated how we were practically identical in personality. I hated the fact that I was just like him and that’s why we argued so much. Sure, I shed a tear when I said goodbye to him. Goodbyes’ in general are difficult, more so when it’s someone in your family. But once that flight took off, I didn’t speak to my brother until he came home for the summer.
This past fall, my family of four became a family of three. My sister, Cayleigh, left for Newcastle Upon Tyne, England to study at the University of Newcastle for six months. To understand what a huge opportunity this was for my sister you need to know a bit about her. Firstly, my sister loves to travel. She’s been to amazing places such as China, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and all over Europe. Secondly, my sister loves history. She loves reading all about the Romans and the Greeks and is currently enrolled in the Classics program at Concordia University. Thirdly, my sister is extremely independent. She has had the mind of a forty year old by the age of fourteen. I’ve always admired this quality in my sister but hated it as well. This meant that my sister has never needed me as much as I’ve needed her. And boy have I needed her throughout the first eighteen years of my life. Cayleigh has been my best friend since the day I was born. She has gone above and beyond her “sisterly duties” everyday. I’ll leave it at that because writing about all the things my sister has done for me would be an article in itself. Once again my family went through interesting reactions to her departure. My father, the ever adoring man he is, asked if that meant he could sleep in her room because her bed is supposedly the comfiest. My mother, like before with my brother, covered up her despair through planning every single detail possible. And what was my reaction you might ask? Well I freaked out. Not only was my best friend in the entire world leaving me, after I’d been with her my entire life, but she was also leaving for a country in another continent in a completely different time zone.