Being the sibling of a child who has some unique stuff going on can be difficult. This post was difficult for me to write because it has such a true, personal viewpoint. When I was in Kindergarten my brother was involved in a farm accident – he was driving a three-wheeler and was hit on the highway by a truck. After several, several weeks in the hospital and therapy he arrived home. It was a difficult time for my entire family – and probably could have torn us apart. Somehow my parents’ marriage stayed in tact. Somehow we all got through it….but it had lasting effects.
My brother has an arm that doesn’t work – and while he NEVER complains I can often see that it hurts him to walk. His body was forever changed. Tears? I’m sure. Somehow he got through it…but it had lasting effects.
My mom is still on edge most of the time. I’m pretty sure she still has sleepless nights – she was the first to see him lying on the highway. I know she cannot get that picture out of her head. Who could? Somehow she got through it…but it had lasting effects.
My dad still blames himself. We all know it’s no one’s fault – but he blames himself. He sent my brother home on the three-wheeler. I know he must cry in the middle of the day, when no one is looking. His life was forever changed. Somehow he got through it…but it had lasting effects.
Me? Yeah…it affected me, but in a different way. My parents were with my brother and that was just where they needed to be. It took me some years to understand that, but I finally did. My dad often tells the story about taking me for ice cream a couple of weeks after my brother’s accident and I asked, “Is he still alive?” At that point my dad realized two very important things.
1. No one had bothered to talk to me.
2. The only thing that really mattered in life…was just that – life.
Somehow I got through it…bit it had lasting effects.
Many families go through difficult times that have lasting effects. It’s the same for any family who has a child with unique needs. Sweet, sweet, Estelle – his sister. Everyday I look at her and think, what an amazing, remarkable creature. Why? She knows what Tucker struggles with and she is patient (most of the time). It has to be hard too, I get that. At this age, so much is about equal and fair. Although she’s quick to let you know something isn’t fair – she also understands. If you have children like mine (one who may get more attention) my advice is to let your other(s) know.
I believe in a personal destiny – I believe all things (good and bad) happen for a reason. So, yes I did get through it. You know how my brother’s accident helped me?
Every week I tell Stelli that I know it isn’t fair.
I tell her that I know it’s sucky at times.
I tell her I’m sorry for not putting her needs first more often.
I follow that up by telling her just how special, important, and wonderful she really is. I tell her that God gave her to me, because she is so amazing. He knew that I would need a bright, shining star…in difficult times. I remind her that her very name is the reason I smile…my sweet Estrella (Spanish for star).
Most importantly though?
Most importantly is that I admit it all.
I admit to her that I wish I could do better. I admit to her that I know it’s not fair. I admit to her that I do the best I can, but I know sometimes that is not enough. When she tells me, “It’s okay, mom.” I vehemently disagree. It’s NOT okay…but it is what it is.
It too, will provide guidance for her life at some point…it will add to her own personal destiny. A destiny written in the stars.