story worth reading.
I was then an only child who had everything I could ever
want. But even a pretty, spoiled and rich kid could get
lonely once in a while so when Mom told me that she was
pregnant, I was ecstatic. I imagined how wonderful you would
be and how we'd always be together and how much you would
look like me. So, when you were born, I looked at your tiny
hands and feet and marveled at how beautiful you were.
We took you home and I showed you proudly to my friends.
They would touch you and sometimes pinch you, but you never
reacted. When you were five months old, some things began to
bother Mom. You seemed so unmoving and numb, and your cry
sounded odd --- almost like a kitten's. So we brought you to
The thirteenth doctor who looked at you quietly said you
have the "cry du chat" (pronounced Kree-do-sha) syndrome,
"cry of the cat" in French.
When I asked what that meant, he looked at me with pity and
softly said, "Your brother will never walk nor talk." The
doctor told us that it is a condition that afflicts one in
50,000 babies, rendering victims severely retarded. Mom was
shocked and I was furious. I thought it was unfair.
When we went home, Mom took you in her arms and cried. I
looked at you and realized that word will get around that
you're not normal. So to hold on to my popularity, I did the
unthinkable ... I disowned you. Mom and Dad didn't know but
I steeled myself not to love you as you grew. Mom and Dad
showered you love and attention and that made me bitter. And
as the years passed, that bitterness turned to anger, and
Mom never gave up on you. She knew she had to do it for your
Everytime she put your toys down, you'd roll instead of
crawl. I watched her heart break every time she took away
your toys and strapped your tummy with foam so you couldn't
roll. You struggle and you're cry in that pitiful way, the
cry of the kitten. But she still didn't give up.
And then one day, you defied what all your doctors said --
When mom saw this, she knew you would eventually walk. So
when you were still crawling at age four, she'd put you on
the grass with only your diapers on knowing that you hate
the feel of the grass on your skin.
Then she'd leave you there. I would sometimes watch from the
windows and smile at your discomfort. You would crawl to the
sidewalk and Mom would put you back. Again and again, Mom
repeated this on the lawn. Until one day, Mom saw you pull
yourself up and toddle off the grass as fast as your little
legs could carry you.
Laughing and crying, she shouted for Dad and I to come. Dad
hugged you crying openly.
I watched from my bedroom window this heartbreaking scene.
Over the years, Mom taught you to speak, read and write.
From then on, I would sometime see you walk outside, smell
the flowers, marvel at the birds, or just smile at no one. I
began to see the beauty of the world through your eyes. It
was then that I realized that you were my brother and no
matter how much I tried to hate you, I couldn't, because I
had grown to love you.
During the next few days, we again became acquainted with
each other. I would buy you toys and give you all the love
that a sister could ever give to her brother. And you would
reward me by smiling and hugging me.
But I guess, you were never really meant for us. On your
tenth birthday, you felt severe headaches. The doctor's
diagnosis --leukemia. Mom gasped and Dad held her, while I
fought hard to keep my tears from falling. At that moment, I
loved you all the more. I couldn't even bear to leave your
side. Then the doctors told us that your only hope is to
have a bonemarrow transplant. You became the subject of a
nationwide donor search. When at last we found the right
match, you were too sick, and the doctor reluctantly ruled
out the operations. Since then, you underwent chemotherapy
Even at the end, you continued to pursue life. Just a month
before you died, you made me draw up a list of things you
wanted to do when you got out of the hospital. Two days
after the list was completed, you asked the doctors to send
you home. There, we ate ice cream and cake, run across the
grass, flew kites, went fishing, took pictures of one
another and let the balloons fly. I remember the last
conversation that we had. You said that if you die, and if I
need of help, I could send you a note to heaven by tying it
on the string of any balloon and letting it fly. When you
said this, I started crying. Then you hugged me. Then again,
for the last time, you got sick.
That last night, you asked for water, a back rub, a cuddle.
Finally, you went into seizure with tears streaming down
your face. Later, at the hospital, you struggled to talk but
the words wouldn't come. I know what you wanted to say.
"Hear you," I whispered. And for the last time, I said,
"I'll always love and I will never forget you. Don't be
afraid. You'll soon be with God in heaven." Then, with my
tears flowing freely, I watched the bravest boy I had ever
known finally stop breathing. Dad, Mom and I cried until I
felt as if there were no more tears left. Patrick was
finally gone, leaving us behind.
From then on, you were my source of inspiration. You showed
me how to love life and live to the fullest. With your
simplicity and honesty, you showed me a world full of love
and caring. And you made me realize that the most important
thing in this life is to continue loving without asking why
or how and without setting any limit.
Thank you, my little brother, for all these.