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Oh, brother!

One of those special things I’ve always dreamed about is having a close bond with a sister. I’ve never had the pleasure of watching over and leading a younger sister, and I’ve never been able to look up to, seek advice from, or have deep conversations with an older sister. While I often wish I could have those experiences, I realize I haven’t missed out in any way.

Nope, God gave me a brother, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

My brother, Seth, and I have always done everything together — gone to the movies, stuck together at gatherings, played euchre with Grandma and Grandpa, rode horses, hiked, played every sport, watched movies all night, built Legos, played video games, raised rabbits/goats, shared secrets Mom and Dad won’t ever know ... I could go on all day! Many of those seem typical of things best friends would do together, but I guess you could call us that. We’ve always been very independent and done our own things, but a huge part of my life has been spent with my brother.

Since I was little I remember constantly tagging along after him and always looking up to him. I have always been impressed with how brave he is and how willing he is to try new things, and he has always dragged me along to try them too! I absolutely love the challenges, but I’m not quite as brave as he is. If you know us, then you probably know I am mostly referring to our adventurous outdoor escapades. Seth is a climbing monkey, and we’ve always been dare devils with climbing new obstacles.

When we were younger we climbed the beams in our grandparent’s barn, the highest branches in every tree, enormous tanks and everything else we could find. As we’ve gotten bigger, of course, the obstacles have too. One of our favorite things to do now is go hiking and rock climbing everywhere we go. This past summer we went to Wyoming. Seth and I rode horses in the morning with our parents, but then in the afternoons we split ways with them and took off for the giant, mountain-like rocks. I’m not actually sure if we were supposed to be on them ... but that didn’t stop us because, of course, when you see the biggest rocks in the area you can’t go on without reaching the top of them!

The rock climbing isn’t what makes it special, though; the time spent together, the secrets told, the dreams discussed, all the laughs and inside jokes ... that’s what will continue to bond us after we no longer have the time or capability to sneak off on adventures together.

Several times I can remember on our nightly bareback horse rides, ventures through the timber, hikes at Starved Rock, or just sitting in the house, we would talk about anything and everything. Those are the irreplaceable times, the ones that connect us, and I’ve realized we are pretty similar! Which I think has a lot to do with all of the time we’ve spent together.

Several times Seth has dragged me along to do things that I only half-heartedly wanted to do, but thinking about it now, I regret being obstinate. I never once have had a bad time, and more importantly, I am thankful that he wants to include me, that he cares. I wouldn’t want to have a brother that doesn’t want anything to do with me or who is ashamed to be related to me. I know that he won’t always want to do things with me anymore, or just won’t be able to, but we will always have that bond.

So, I want to dedicate this to Seth because it’s his 21st birthday, and every kid deserves to have a brother like him! I am very thankful to have him, and I know that I don’t need any sister to make me complete because God has already given me the best by giving me, Seth, my brother.

Danae Ross, 17, of Wyanet is a senior at Bureau Valley High School She can be reached at diamondspride30@yahoo.com.

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