A letter of apology to my younger brothers.

November 16th, 2015, 11pm

Dear Brothers,

My existence has simply complicated your life more than it should have. You know too much about hospitals, emergency rooms and special therapies for kids. You know so much about ventilators and suction machines, too much for anyone to know, let alone kids. You grew up with a fear that a vacation or holiday would be cancelled or moved to a hospital because of me, and I am so sorry for that. I’m sorry that when I get sick all the attention and concern in the house get focused on me.

On the day of my high school graduation, everyone was amazed that I lived long enough to survive high school, let alone make it into university and every family member alive was making a giant deal of my graduating. You had no idea how much it broke my heart for you to come up to me and say “I hope on my graduation day everyone makes as big a deal of me, that they are making of you.” I’m sorry you felt left out and forgotten again and I am making your graduation day special just to make it up to you.

I don’t want to be an attention hog, but I am, my health won’t allow it any other way. I try to be small and insignificant when I’m well so you can have your attention hogging and dramatics without me getting in the way. I’m sorry we live our lives in spurts and feeling like we will never stop playing catch up. I’m sorry that you spent most of your schooling struggling with English and no one noticed. I’m sorry we didn’t discover you had a learning disability until this week, halfway through your senior year of high school the second time around.

I’m sorry for all of it. Your life would have been so much easier without me, but I wouldn’t have survived without you two. You make me laugh, you give me a sense of normal where no one else can. You’ve toughened me up, we mock our parents behind their backs, we tell secrets. You told me about smashing pumpkins on Halloween, I told you about a guy who had feelings for me, and in typical younger brother fashion, you kicked me out of your room. Thank you guys for giving me normal stories to tell to my friends. A story about your younger brothers beating each other up in the kitchen with the older and bigger one stealing the younger ones pants to only find the pants dangling from the garage rafters the next morning. Is a lot more relatable than a story about how I wanted out of the hospital so bad that they took the IV out of my arm in the hallway of the ward with barely enough time to stop the bleeding before I bolted.

So, Thank you. Thank you for keeping me sane, and I will be spending the rest of my life making up for the damage I caused and continue to do.

Yours truly,

Your Chronically Ill, yet loving older sister.

Victoria said thanks.

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Mariah Hillis

History buff living with chronic health problems. Lives life to the fullest, and dreams the biggest dreams, despite not being able to breathe in her sleep.

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