I enjoy my life, but that doesn’t mean I am always happy and passing sweet moments. Sometimes life is sad and sometimes it’s happy. I like all the variations. Life is like a sandwich, and that means it should have different ingredients to be delicious. You have to feel different every day to enjoy your life. If it’s always the same way, if you are always sad or happy, life will get boring and you won’t want to continue it.

For me, this enjoyment is the result of one person: my oldest sister, Shakila. My sister is an angel. She is 30 years old. My mother always says, “Your sister is more than a mother. You have to be thankful for her forever.”

The first gift Shakila gave me was to encourage and take care of me. She was the only person that I could ask for anything I wanted. If I had asked my silly questions of anybody else, they would have laughed at me, but she was different and she still is. She always encouraged me to ask many things of her.

One of the funny questions I once asked her was this: “Shakila, who do you love more, me or God?” When my older brother found out about this, he made fun of me and he told others, “Fatima is just a fool. She wants to compare herself to God. It is incredible. And she also wants Shakila to love her more than God. See how stupid she is? I am ashamed to call her my sister.” He told this to everyone he knows and they all made fun of me.

I don’t know why, but I felt Shakila could love me more than God. I love her more than anyone else—even God. Then I felt guilty, and I told myself, “God will eat you, Fatima. Stop what are you saying.” But Shakila told me my question was smart and only stupid people can’t understand it. She said, “Never let others put you down!”

Shakila helped me and my younger sister go to a private school; she paid for our transportation and all the materials we needed. I wasn’t good at school—I was never a position holder—but she never complained about this. I always fought with my teachers and especially my principal. When I told Shakila about it she used to say, “I am proud of you. You are brave.”

The most important thing Shakila did for me was to change my views. She changed my world. She brought me to a world that was full of enjoyment and love. She taught me that independence is the most important thing for a mature person and respecting other people’s ideas is the most important thing for a human.

I don’t know how to express all the things Shakila has done for me. I don’t know. I just want to tell her through my writing that I love her and I will never forget the things she did for me.

By Fatima H.