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A Trip That Can Never Be Repeated

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A Trip That Can Never Be Repeated

Meghan Starke with her brother

Meghan Starke with her brother

Meghan Starke with her brother

Meghan Starke with her brother

Meghan Starke, Staff Writer

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“I will be waiting for you after you get off the tram….can’t wait to see you.” The moment has finally come. Receiving and actually seeing this text has given me some sense of realization that has been clouded and drowned out from the following weeks of hectic work shifts and a jam packed school schedule. That we have finally made it to the point where I will be meeting my long lost brother for the first time, an experience that can never in a life time be replaced or repeated again. The second this moment comes everything else happening in your world comes to a crashing stop.

The first steps off the plane, knowing that with every step I take I am one second closer and closer. A bundle of emotions takes over my body as I board the tram that will take me to my brother, hands aching with all the tension and I feel like if I were to look down that I could literally see my heart beating out of my chest. The fact that we have been waiting weeks for this moment on a literal countdown and now we are only minutes away is surreal. The one thought that’s been on my mind for weeks, “I hope they like me” hopefully our meeting will bring a sense of relief to this haunting feeling. As the tram comes to an approaching stop and the sliding door opens up, I step out facing down the long hall peering through the crowds of people that have flown out into the hall way like an ocean wave. I feel like I am playing an actor in my own movie based on what could not possibly be my life. Peering through the crowds and singling out who I think is my brother, as I approach “oh my god” are the first words that escape his mouth and without skipping a beat and almost as natural as breathing we share our first hug ever. I am finally here! All the feelings of anxiousness almost magically disappear and a sense of relief takes its place. All of my “firsts” have officially begun with my brother; our first words in person, our first hug. “Firsts” are so bitter sweet. They are so sweet and special in the sense that they have never happened before and are bitter because that particular first can never be a first again. The realization that I am here and we are all officially together is sinking in for us on our drive home, where I will officially meet my sister in law and only nieces for the first time.

I am welcomed into my brother’s home with my first hug from my beautiful sister in law, Stephanie, along with the rest of his family. One of the most frequently asked questions I have heard from this whole experience is “do you feel the connection?” and all I will say is that it is not necessarily a “connection” as much as it is a natural feeling. Which is exactly what this whole experience feels like; natural. I feel like I am home, home in my own pristine room made for a princess. A beach bag filled with a plethora of gift sits on my bed and a large dresser with empty drawers waiting to be filled. I have never unpacked my belongings in someone else’s home or hotel room while on vacation because to me that simply says that you plan on staying; I unpacked my belongings in my brother’s home, I felt comfortable and settled.  I feel like I could never imagine my life without him, it amazes me that I have literally gone my whole life without him. On the other hand if I would have had the wonderful opportunity of growing up with a big brother than this experience would have never happened. I would never be having the trip of a lifetime in Florida surrounded by a huge addition to my family and experiencing the true definition of southern hospitality.

My brother has prepared my first incredible good old southern, fresh seafood boil for  along with all of his family and closest friends. Being able to enjoy this incredible meal with my brother and all the people closest to him. Making connections with my new family, new lifelong friends, getting to know my brother and all about his life through some of the people closest to him. Some of my best bonding moments were the boat rides with my brother on the beautiful Lake Parker, the lake in which my brother’s house sits on. While exploring my brother’s favorite spots on the lake, the sun goes down and the breathtaking sunset graces us with its presence, a photograph could never do it justice. The sky peeks through with spots of dark clouds while the rest of it you would have sworn was struck with a rainbow of cotton candy. The wind blowing on my face and the mist from the water hides the tears that trickle down my cheeks. Just the thought that this new fantasy life that I am living with my new big brother is rapidly coming to an end and that this moment is only going to last for so long slowly breaks my heart.

My last day in paradise is unfortunately here and as ironic and rather humorous as it is, Hurricane Michael is rapidly approaching, ironic seeing as Michael is the name of our father and he does not know yet that I have made contact or started this new relationship with my brother. This is figuratively and literally the calm before the storm, and I know that as my brother drives me to the airport to make my trip back to Phoenix, I am secretly hoping in my heart that this storm might post pone my flight. I am not ready to leave him but I know that as fate would have it, to bring me together with him in my life it is also part of fate that I go back to where my home is at this point in time. Our fathers reaction is to be undetermined as of this point as to how he’s going to react to my new relationship with my brother but truly only time will tell. The one thing that I hope for him to realize is that without him is that this amazing blessing known as my big brother would never exist in my life, and just how much this whole experience has changed my life and has given me a whole new meaning. It inspires me to want to be better than I am today because I now have a new role that I need to uphold in my life. I have often repeated the words “my brother” which is not by accident, I’ll tell you after not being able to make that claim my whole life I do not think those words will ever get old.

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A Trip That Can Never Be Repeated