Distance Is No Obstacle When It Comes to Family

Distance Is No Obstacle When It Comes to Family

by Jessica Toyne

My brother, Jake, is seventeen years old and I am nineteen, and out of all of the days that we have been on this earth together we had never been apart for longer than a few days before I left for college.

By the time we were old enough to understand the value in our brother sister relationship we had become best friends.

We have always been there for each other, whether it is being each other’s biggest fan in the crowd during a game or quickly switching over to damage control when something more important went wrong in each other’s lives.

It was almost like we took that for granted, and I never thought going to college out of state would have had this much impact on us.

I am from Bellevue, Nebraska which is about two and a half hours away.

At times this may not seem that far, but when 7:00 on a Friday night rolls around and Jake is in Bellevue ready to take that first snap of the big game and I am still in Indianola it seems like we are a million miles apart.

Last year when I was a freshman it was tough.

I only made it back for a handful of football, basketball and baseball games combined, and going home is a tough decision.

I miss my family, but I do not want to spend every weekend at home because then I miss out on what is going on here at Simpson.

I also struggle with deciding if it is worth the gas to make the trip there and back in one day. Then, once I make the decision to head home I have to check it with my schedule.

Being a dual sport athlete I practice almost every day, and if I practice until six or so, there is no way I could make it back.

There are so many different things that factor into whether or not I can be there for him, and this year has just become that much harder.

Jake is now a senior in high school and he has earned himself a starting spot in all three of his sports as quarterback, shooting guard, and catcher.

All I want is to be there for him, but in a way I believe that this has made us closer.

Just a few weeks ago was the first game of the season, which was also the big hometown rivalry game between Bellevue East and Bellevue West.

Jake had been bugging me all summer about coming back and watching his first varsity start as the Bellevue East quarterback, but I was in the middle of preseason for soccer, balancing two or three practices a day and team meals. So I told him there was no way.

Then the big game day rolled up and I was talking to my roommates about how much it would mean to him and to me if I could be there for him. We had practice until about 4:45 that day, but we decided to make the trip anyway.

We made it at about the start of the second quarter and I was able to watch him play.

It was so rewarding, but the part of that night that I will never forget is my little brother’s face when he saw me after the game. I felt like I was in a movie.

It was one of the most emotional things I had ever experienced, and it is times like that that make it all worthwhile.

I have learned to cope with the fact that I won’t make it to every game, and he now understands that I will make the trip every chance I get.

I never, not for one second, regret coming to Simpson.

In all honestly it will probably turn out to be one of the best decisions of my life, and hopefully next year I will be sitting in the stands of Mcbride Field cheering on little Toyne tearing it up behind the plate.