"Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. " ~Vietnamese Proverb
“My sister this…” he wrote
“My sister that..” he also wrote.
It will forever amaze me.
My son. My son who struggles with writing but in virtually every piece he writes he includes the same protagonist – his missing sister.
All his school work stories include his sister. The sister he has never known and may never know. The sister he shares openly with his younger brother who still responds with “I have a sister?”
I should be used to this. I really should. Maybe I am. Maybe what startles me is that I wonder what it means. How often does he think about her? What does he think? What does he feel about the sister that is featured in our home on photo walls, in albums, in discussion but is not present in our home? Does he sense the ghostly apparition of her soul as I do?
What does he think when Mom is sad or crying about sister?
How does he explain to his brother, five years younger than him, why his sister is not here? What does he say about her when my ears are too far to hear his utterances?
Does he hold back his need for expression so it doesn’t upset Mom?
Does some part of him pull back when he states “Wow, Mom, that looks just like sister.” Does he see something in my face that causes him to recoil and keep his feelings to himself?
Why does he write about her over and over and over again in his school work? Is this his fantasy sister? Is he dreaming at school about what he would really do if his sister was here to play with him?
When he corrects me by stating he is not our family first born, what is he feeling?
Why didn’t I know when I was surrendering my daughter that I was also surrendering a sister? That the loss would transcend me? How could I have known that twelve years later a baby boy would be born to me that would spend his preteen years musing over a sister he never met but feels in our house every single day.
I am sorry, son. Mommy didn’t know. I really didn’t.