Many people might not know this, I am actually the middle child in my family. Growing up with a special needs elder brother (Gor), I don’t really get to enjoy the perks being a younger sibling. Being held with “big sister” duty to my little brother, parents used to have very high expectations… I kinda hate my life back then.
Why should I? Why do I need to do this? Often the questions I asked myself.
Doctors told us he can never talk, walk or take care of himself for the rest of his life. But silly me used to think what if there is a fairy godmother that can heal Gor, like how Cinderella turning into a Princess… What if one day he can walk and talk to me, telling me how much he adores me as his little sister too.
We never had any conversation, but we are very close. I hug him whenever I am back home, feed him so that he can have a taste of what we eating too, tell him I will be back soon whenever I leave for school or work. He smiles, he listens.
When I was little, I always told my friends I am the eldest in my family, with only one little brother, it’s because I didn’t know how to share Gor is actually a special needs child. What if they bash him, what if they ask a lot of questions. Kids.
My family hardly travels together especially overseas. Gor will be cranky seeing strangers, and he can’t travel far. We seldom eat in restaurants too or even weddings. Someone needs to stay home, mom said, as we can’t bare to leave him alone with the maid. He will be upset or worse, cry. He feels insecure whenever we leave home as if we gonna abandon him. I can never understand how scared he was, being not able to move around but seeing your family to leave you at home alone.
Getting older, I slowly understand how difficult as parents to be able to take care of such child. As a bedridden child, he has never gotten any infections, even doctors and nurses in hospital were impressed. Mum actually found out when she was pregnant. Being able to make the decision to deliver instead of baby abortion, God knows how fucking huge courage is needed.
Mum once told me, doctors actually encouraged her to deliver more babies so that in future younger siblings are able to take care of Gor and old folks (my parents). Here comes me! And of course my younger brother…
Recent years, my parents actually shared the reason why they had high expectations on me, not because I am being elder to my little brother… they see hope in me and hope I am independent and tough enough in future, able to take care of Gor when they are gone.
I cried inside of me.
It has been year and a half since Gor’s passing. My parents told me they feel relieved actually, knowing that Gor’s passed before them, knowing that he will be no longer in pain, knowing that he will not be a burden to us (me and my little brother) in future when they are gone. It has always been their concern that me and my little brother might not be able to take care of Gor like how my parents do. Feed him, bath him, take him to hospital, follow up with medical appointments, physiotherapy and many more. Especially when someday me and my little bro have our own family…
I am glad that my parents are picking up stuff they have missed during the days they took care of Gor. Dad retired last year, mum is enthusiastic over her Fengshui lessons and all. I am happy that they are happy, but I wish sometimes they have some attention on me too lol. They are busier than me sometimes, with all sorts of activities, hmm.
I don’t know about you, but I am feeling extremely proud of my parents to be able to overcome so much for many years. Kudos to my pillars of strength, quay to my boat! See you all soon folks (if you are reading this) I love you both more than you know !
Writing this specially dedicated to my old folks and Gor.