20 August 2008


Here's a little something I wrote for class, and I thought I would share.

It is no little feat asking someone to write about their life. I don’t care if that person is 21 years old or 91 years old. Nevertheless, here goes my attempt at explaining a little bit of my history. Once upon a time in a land far, far away, in a house near the ocean a little princess was born to two loving parents: Richard and Linda Charnock. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I was my parent’s first child and I was certainly the apple of their eye, at least for the first five years of my existence.
When I was born I think I completely surprised my father. He swore to everyone that mom was going to have a boy, and even worse, he swore to name me after his favorite Uncle Alvin. Alvin—like Alvin and the chipmunks-- so unattractive, thankfully, I was not a boy. My mother was ecstatic to have a little girl, and she named me after her favorite Aunt and Uncle: Mariah Lee. I am told that for those first five years my parents doted on me as much as any new parents would: I had the frilliest dresses, the newest shoes, and more Little Mermaid paraphernalia than any girls heart could possibly desire.
So, I suppose it’s my own fault, really, that the fairytale had to end. When I was five I begged and begged my parents for a little sister. When my mom announced that she was going to have a baby I was so excited! Finally, I would have someone to play with and watch over as only a big sister could. My dad tried to explain to me that it might be a boy, and as he did when my mom was pregnant with me, he told her that he was positive it was a boy. I think, instead of telling me not to get my hopes up, someone should have been telling him. On December 1, 1992, Olivia Nadine Charnock was born. From that moment on I knew that my life would be different—I was a big sister.
How can a five year old understand just how much a life can change in one single moment? She can’t. I didn’t understand what words like: central hypotonia, umbilical cord, and motor skills meant. All I knew was that I was now the proud owner of a brand new baby sister and it was my job to protect her. I did know that mom was gone for a very long time, and she almost didn’t make it home in time for Christmas. Christmas Eve brought the best surprise I could ever ask for, my mother and my little sister both got to come home.
After that life was never the same at the Charnock household. I don’t know at what moment it finally clicked that my little sister wasn’t like everyone else, but when it did I was devastated. I thought that it was my fault she was born the way she was, after all, wasn’t I the one who had prayed and begged and pleaded for a sister? Maybe if I had just been more patient and less selfish none of this would have happened.
Growing up I became more to Olivia than I ever thought I would have to be. I cheered her on at physical therapy, I was her translator for the first three and a half years of her life, and when she finally said her first words at almost four years old, I was there. I was there when she learned how to ride a bike, and when she began to read at ten years old. I was also there her first day of Middle School, watching, as the kids made fun of her for being different.
You may ask why I told my story in terms of another person’s life. I’m not sure even I can explain it. All I know is that Olivia has helped shape me into the person I am today. My friends and parents would probably be surprised to hear me say any of this. I guess our relationship isn’t quite what it used to be. Olivia is sixteen and I’m twenty-one. It’s hard to find time to spend with her when I’m up here at school. She frustrates me so much sometimes, but she also pushes me, unknowingly, to be a better person. She loves me for who I am no matter what, and she is teaching me to be patient one day at a time. My little sister might be autistic, but she has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. She is always telling everyone that I am her hero, but what she doesn’t realize is that she is mine too.



Blogger faith~hope~love said...

that was a beautiful story... it made me tear up a bit.

August 20, 2008 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Tori Marie said...

i love love love this.
you are the best big sister olivia could ever have.
you are amazing
and i love your writing.

August 20, 2008 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger MC said...

Thanks guys. I think I cried a little when I was writing it too.

August 20, 2008 at 4:09 PM  

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