One child

My dad is in his own private regular room, away from the constant noise and lights of the Cardiovasular Intensive Care Unit, and he’s looking and sounding better each day. Today, he was having an irregular heart beat, so he had to slow down his walking a bit. A few of the nurses have commended us for always being there and taking turns spending the night with him. One of them was remarking how pretty and loving I am with my dad. “You just have one daughter?” a few of them asked my mom. “Yes, just one child,” my mom said, half smiling weakly.

I felt so angry when I heard the words come out of her mouth. I know that this is the only easy response to nurses and medical professionals who we will likely (fingers crossed, no offense) not have to see again, but I felt hurt anyway. I’m an only child now? I’m not an only child. I have a big brother. He may not be living, but he still exists.

I don’t want my brother to be forgotten. The idea that anyone would forget Ed angers me to no end. I know my parents won’t forget about him and will think about him constantly each day, but I hate the thought that we have to act “normal” as though he doesn’t exist around strangers. I won’t forget Ed. It’s not even the slightest bit possible. And the funny thing is… now, I think of Ed in a different way… because I am thinking about him in the context of leaving me alone in this earthly world to care for our aging parents by myself. It’s a lonely feeling, a terrifying responsibility. I have no one else in the world to lean on except myself.

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