Lessons from my brother

Chrissy Miller, News Editor

From a last-minute decision name to being one of the most dedicated athletes I know, my brother has led an interesting life so far.

Realizing Michael Anthony Miller would leave my brother with the initials MAM, it was quickly decided he would be named Anthony with Michael following behind.

He has always been a MAM to me though, and I want Mikey to know it does not make him any less of a young man.

Even with our five-year age difference, I have learned so much from this overeager, stubborn and intelligent teenager.

He has never let a situation permanently keep him down. Whether it be breaking his arm in football or having to get stitches on his leg from messing around with friends, he always comes out of painful situations ready to get right back on the court or field.

The determination and dedication he continues to show every day is something most people do not gain until they are much older, if at all.

He does what he loves with such an intensity and focus it is intriguing to watch. At the same time, he manages to do well in school and get all the necessary but not necessarily fun tasks done.

Being one of the better athletes in my hometown, Mikey is often someone teachers and coaches expect to set an example for other students.

Sometimes, this means rising above the pettiness often found in small schools with nothing to do but gossip. Mikey handles everything with a calm demeanor. He does not complain or lash out when other kids try to get a reaction out of him.

Instead, he stands his ground and keeps on working extremely hard to achieve his goals. When he gets knocked down, his focus is how he can get back up.

Even though he does not want anyone to know it, my little brother is secretly kind and sensitive. While watching “10 Things I Hate about You,” he cried when the protagonist read her poem.

A few months later he saw it on Netflix and said we would have to watch it together again because he enjoyed it so much the first time.

No matter how old he gets, I am still his big sister who read to him and told him spooky Santa Claus stories because he never believed some fat jolly guy would break into people’s houses to give them things.

Since I started going to college, he has decided to tell people he wants to be called “Anthony” instead of the less formal “Mikey.”

He has far surpassed me in height and has become oddly obsessed with country music. Every time I come home now, he seems to have grown a foot and have new stories about people I no longer know.

Still, he is the same Mikey I have known all my life. He just has some really cool new life experiences now like surviving an intensive basketball camp as well as being tall.

Right now, he has a broken left clavicle and cannot practice or do as much as he would like. He is still on his basketball team though and I am so proud of him.

He will be back on the court soon because with passion like that, no broken bone could keep him away for long.

The way he lives makes me know he will always be OK, because no matter what he does, his kindness, hard work and passion will carry him through.

Chrissy Miller is a junior elementary education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or clmiller9@eiuedu.