In December, my family got a pretty scary situation. My little brother had his leg amputated due to an aggressive form of cancer. As long as I can remember, I have been the one who looks out for him. I am my brother’s keeper, for as long as he breathes.
When we were kids, we were inseparable.
My brother turned into a gigantic ass, but luckily when he was a little boy, he sure did love me. I could get that boy to do anything I wanted him to. Though the words were never spoken, he knew that I would be there for him no matter what the situation. That I would always have his back. We would fight like no other, ending up bloody and bruised some days, other days we would avoid each other completely. Even after all the fights and hurt feelings, I still felt like I was my brother’s keeper.
I have a confession to make. As a girl, just hitting puberty, I was mortified to purchase feminine products. I would seriously panic each month, almost to the point of hyperventilating. My little saving grace would see this and just take my money, hop on his bike and jet to the little corner store. No issues. He would straighten my hair before I would go out, with the iron mom wouldn’t have been happy to see us using. That kid would straighten it better than ANY of my girlfriends.
I Am My Brother’s Keeper
Though we have parents, I have always felt a little bit protective, and a lot like he is my responsibility to watch over and keep safe. Last year, my ability to shield him did nothing for him. He was diagnosed with Sarcoma Cancer, in his knee. So he started 5 weeks of radiation, in hopes to shrink the dang tumor enough to remove. It didn’t work. In fact, it was the opposite. His leg started to hurt more and more, and you could see the lump on the inside of the knee. 9 days before a total knee replacement, he got the news. His leg would need to be amputated in order to save his life. There were no more options for him.
The night leading up to surgery, he was in great spirits. He seemed to have made peace with the fact that he was never going to stand on his own two feet again. I challenged him to one last race in the hospital, but, he just couldn’t. We plan to get matching tattoos, mine will say I’m with Stumpy, and his will say Stumpy.
After Care, No Longer A Keeper
Surgery seemed to have lasted for hours. I thought for sure they messed something up and that was why it was taking so long. Dad got the call. The surgery had gone well and they saved more of the leg than they thought they would. My brother had a long road ahead, but at least he had a road.
Today, my brother is taking things day by day. He is learning how to do the things that he once did with ease. He is a master of that wheelchair, and I think he would give a rabbit a good run for its money in a hopping race. He seems to think that he no longer needs me to be his keeper, but he is wrong. I will always be my brother keeper.
Take This Away
As a mother, this situation can and should be learned from. It is important that if your child has a sibling, that they understand that is bond that is unique. They should grow up, loving and fighting, but fiercely protecting each other. They need to understand that one day, mom and dad will no longer be here. That when that time comes, they will need to lean on each other. I want my daughter to be her brother’s keeper, and my son to be my daughter’s keeper. I want them to be happy for the other when things go right, and cry together when things go south. Because no matter how old I am or my brother gets, I will always be my brother’s keeper.
Until next time
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