Missing out on family and growing up

Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sometimes I wish people knew what my life is like. My life is not easy. Sometimes I wish people knew what it is like losing two people at the same time. Sometimes I wish I could go get my sister and bring her home. But the only thing I can do is pray every day and every night that the Lord will bring her home someday, that she will be at our door and will be home forever. My sister is in jail.

My sister is missing out on a lot. She's missing her kids' lives. My sister missed my 3-year-old niece going to the bathroom on her own for the first time, when she started talking a lot, when she counted to 10 and when she could get dressed by herself. My sister missed out on her 8-year-old daughter taking the bus for the first time, reading all by herself and making her own egg sandwich.

I never dreamed that my sister would end up in jail and my brother-in-law would die.

My brother-in-law was a good dad. He loved his girls so much. He was good at a lot of things, like playing basketball, hunting and helping out in the house. He was a really nice guy and always nice to me. Everyone in my family liked him. His favorite drink was Coca Cola. Every day he had to drink one. He liked to take his kids on rides and go places. He liked to travel. Just before he passed away, we all went to Disneyland. His favorite color was purple. We all miss him so very much.

When this crisis happened, I didn't make it to school for a year. I took care of my niece every day. At the time, she was not used to my parents or to anyone. So, I decided to stay home with her because she was only a year old and she needed me.

Now I watch the kids a lot when I am not at work. I don't really mind, because I would rather have them with me than with someone they don't know. It's fun with them around and it gives me something to do. They are now my sisters because my mom and dad officially adopted them.

My mom has had four children. I was the youngest. Now she is staring all over again. She is raising two grandchildren and caring for other grandkids, as well. She has to make sure we have food, eat right, do our homework, get enough sleep and go to school. She has to work on a lot of stuff we have to get done for the court. My mom is a really busy - and good - mother. She is the best mother ever.

My mom is having a hard time because she was used to having all her girls around her for family dinners and on holidays. She misses her daughter. She misses her son-in-law. She always got him presents.

It's hard when you cannot see someone all the time. You love them so much, and all you see them is like once in a blue moon. I can't see my sister much because it is too much money to fly north. We were so close. Now I can't talk to her or see her any time I wish.

My mother cries all the time, because she wishes her daughter could come home. So do I. All we can do is pray.

• Dennelle Starr is a student at Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School.

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