The Time We Lost


Olive Ritchie, Assistant Editor

Until now my older brother, Vander, has been a steady presence in my life. Even when we didn’t get along, he was always there. In August of this year, I took my brother to college, and it’s been crazy for me to think about how different our relationship used to be. Throughout the years, my relationship with my brother has more than almost any other relationship in my life.

My mom has always said that when she was pregnant with me, Vander was so excited to meet me. Once I was born, he wanted to hold me a lot, and we got along really well. My mom has this video where my dad is holding one year old me on a bed and my brother keeps jumping on the bed to make me laugh. I don’t remember a lot about this time because I was so young, but according to my parents we were close for my first few years.

By the time I was in second grade, me and Vander were constantly at odds. We couldn’t seem to agree on anything no matter the situation; we fought about everything I could think of: what to eat, what to watch, what to do and more. We just weren’t mixing well:I was constantly loud and energetic while Vander was going through a mean phase common to middle schoolers. Despite my parents’ numerous suggestions on how to get along better, we never quit arguing.

One day, around my sixth grade year, it was like we flipped a switch. I’m not sure if it was because I matured or because Vander was nicer, but we stopped fighting almost completely. We still had petty little disagreements, but it was never about anything serious. For the first time since I could remember, we weren’t constantly at each others throats. 

We eventually started to get along really well. When I started highschool, I started to enjoy a lot of the same things as Vander. We joined a lot of the same extracurricular activities, and we had more to talk about than ever. We were in the Drama Club, GSA and we were even in Tenderfoot together. We both loved music and were very interested in politics, so we talked about that as well as just discussing our lives. 

As I was leaving Vander, I felt remorseful about our relationship. We spent so much time fighting when we could’ve been friends. And now, just as our relationship was in a good place, he was leaving. When I was saying goodbye, I felt as if I couldn’t properly convey how much I was going to miss him, and what a huge influence he has been in my life. I’ve learned from so many of his mistakes, and I’m sure he’s learned through mine.

I can’t believe Vander is growing up without me. While I know he’ll thrive in college, I can’t believe he won’t be with me as much. He’ll miss so much that he used to always be here for: birthdays, plays, concerts and holidays, to name a few. Our relationship will shift and change a lot in the next few years, but I’ve accepted that, different doesn’t mean bad.