Jealousy. It’s a feeling that we, as the siblings of those who are terminally ill, must hide… yet we go through it all the time. When your sibling is diagnosed, you become second. Your parents stop checking your homework, what TV shows you’re watching, who your friends are. Your needs are just not as significant as your sibling’s. As your parents attend doctor’s appointments, try new medications, and strive to make your sibling as comfortable as possible… you are overlooked. You must put your siblings needs in front of your own, and accept that others will too. As this occurs, you can easily become jealous of your sibling. They get more attention. They get to watch more TV. They get more toys. But they are also your best friend, so you learn to ignore all the little things and focus on them. Focus on making them laugh. Focus on being their sister. On being their brother. Because they are the bravest, most amazing person you know. So that jealousy slowly fades away.
Home is not the only place that we must hide our jealousy. “Normal” siblings are everywhere. At school, in stores, on social media. All of my friends have siblings. Siblings who can talk and walk. Everyone’s brothers and sisters are such a big part of their lives, so obviously other kids talk about their siblings all the time.
“My sister drove me to school today!”
“My brother and I are going to lunch together.”
“My sister watched a movie with me last night.”
“My brother made a hilarious joke this morning.”
All these little things, that everyone takes for granted, would mean the world to kids like me. Everytime someone mentions their sibling, my heart drops. There are so many things that I will never experience. When people complain about something that their sibling did, I stay quiet because I wish that those things could happen to me. I’d give everything to have my sister make fun of me. To have her steal my toys, or tattle-tale to my parents about something that I did. I wish that she would borrow my clothes and never give them back. Or yell at me for saying something embarrassing. My friends will never have to watch their sibling digress. They will never wonder if a word their sibling says will be the last. Or how long it will be until they laugh again. Yet they will also never get to watch their brother or sister be as strong and courageous as mine. They will never be able to say that their sibling did the impossible, and smiled through the challenges of a life-threatening disease. And most importantly, they don’t have an angel watching over them everyday.
It’s been a while since I’ve had what I consider a “depressive episode.” I had one this week. I lacked motivation to do anything, go anywhere, or be around anyone for a while. Every bit of stress and each unanswered question about my life were at the forefront of my mind. When a wave of sadness hits like that, it holds me captive. Read More
You may not know that President George W. Bush, like us, is a super sibling. His sister died from Leukemia at age three. Over MLK weekend, the Bush family was at my family's favorite vacation spot and I decided to ask him for an interview on my new podcast. I walked up to the former president, my heart pounding, and pitched him my idea. Read More