A Flower Blooms


“I have news :)”

“What what????”

“They asked me to be a manager at one of the houses close by. Free rent. I haven’t decided yet but it’s pretty cool.”


Nearly one year ago, if you asked me how many sisters I had, my answer would’ve been, “One and a half.”

It all began in the summer of 2010. Nearly six years ago.

I was rocked awake at the hysterics of my big sister.

“Brooke, help me I can’t breathe. I feel so sick. Help me. HELP ME!”

“Corrinne, calm down! What’s going on?”

“No I can’t! It hurts!”


I remember being angry at first, then truly worried. Here was my big sister laying in the fetal position, begging me to help her, clearly in pain. She was panicked. All I could do was try to calm her down.

“Breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…breathe out…”

I sat like this for 10 minutes. I rubbed her back and coached her breathing until it slowly slackened. I’d never seen anything like this. Something was off.

Her personality had been slowly changing for months. She was irritable, lazier than usual, and simply unrecognizable. The sister I once grew to adore began to change before my very eyes.

My deduction: she was mental.

The truth: she was addicted to heroin.

That morning I witnessed my sister experiencing heroin withdrawals for the first time. It wouldn’t be the last.

While it’s true I didn’t recognize my sister that summer morning six years ago, over the next 5 years the heroin would slowly begin to take her from me. She had the same crystal blue eyes, and yet somehow they seemed dimmer. She had the same blush skin, and yet it seemed duller. The only half of her that existed was the shell. The other half, the light within her, had dimmed. Soon, I knew I’d tell people, “Sisters? I’ve only got one…”

Then she got clean.

Within a matter of a year, my sister landed herself a job in Chicago and a home at a three-quarter way house. The light was returning, and so was my hope.

Then I get this text:

“I have news :)”

“What what????”

“They asked me to be a manager at one of the houses close by. Free rent. I haven’t decided yet but it’s pretty cool.”

I can’t help but smile. Nearly six years ago, I never could’ve anticipated the turmoil that our family would endure due to addiction. Today, she is not only celebrating a year of sobriety, but she has been offered a management position at a home nearby.

I think my sister’s story can be summed up with a single plant that resides in my home.

For 6 years, the plant refused to bloom. It sat dormant in our home. No light, no water, and no act of nurturing could persuade it to blossom.

But this year, it finally bloomed.

Like the flower, it took my sister time. Today, I can see her begin to blossom, and I can’t wait to see her brighten the world in full bloom.