Colin's Answer

August 19, 2011
I was seated at the kitchen table beside my parents, and everything was tense. “Faith,” my mother started, “you know how hard things have been for a while.” Yes, I knew. How could I have not noticed? My mom glanced at me and then at my father. She inhaled deeply and said, “That's why your father and I have decided to split up. Things haven't worked out the way we wanted and...we are going to get a divorce.” The news hit me like a train coming at 1,000 miles an hour, and it took everything I had not to start shouting at them. How could they? After everything our family had been through, how could they tear us apart any more? The familiar empty hole in my chest came back for the first time since Colin's death. If Colin were here, I thought to myself, he would know how to fix this. He would make everything right again.



A few years ago, my life was a living fairytale. Me, my parents, and my twin brother Colin did everything together. We all got along so well and were always carefree and happy. My parents loved each other. I can remember how every day when my father came home from work each day Colin and I would run into his arms, so ecstatic he was home. He'd pick us up and twirl us in midair, leaving us screaming with laughter, begging for more. Then he'd walk over to my mother and kiss her, telling her about his exciting day at work.


Some nights our parents would play a classical CD, and we'd dance all evening. On Saturday mornings, we would all take a stroll around the neighborhood, stopping for ice cream along the way. Everything seemed so right, so perfect, that it seemed like nothing could go wrong. Until Colin got cancer.



When we found out Colin had Leukemia, things seemed to plunge downhill from there. My father began to work double shifts to pay for the ever-growing pile of medical bills, and my mother found a part time job. I spent my days after school tending to Colin, praying for him to get better. As his condition worsened, he was at the hospital more frequently. How Colin managed to keep himself together, I could never figure out. He never complained about anything, even when you could tell he was in pain. Colin had always been optimistic. In fact, most of the time it seemed like he was the one cheering everyone else up. That was the best part about him.


One night when I was getting ready for bed, the home phone rang. It was the hospital, delivering the tragic news; Colin had passed away. Just like that...he was gone forever. It was like half of my soul had been ripped out of my body. I couldn't breathe, speak, or think about anything except for the fact that he was not coming back.



Once my parents told me about their separation, that was the last straw. I ran out of the house into the pouring rain outside, heading for an answer. I opened the gate to the cemetery and let my feet carry me to the earth in which my brother lay below.

“Colin,” I whispered, my eyes brimming with tears. “I miss you so much. Why did you have to leave? Why?” There was no reply. “Please, Colin,” I begged. “Please answer,” Nothing. “Please,” I tried one last time, but I knew it was no use. So I did the only thing I could think of; I sat there and cried. I wept shuddering, heaving, sobs of anguish, of pain, wishing that everything would be okay and that things would go back to when I had a real family.



Suddenly, the rain stopped and a stunning rainbow swept over the sky. I gasped and wiped my tears away. Somehow I felt better than I had in a long time. I felt as if things would turn out to be okay. I stood up, and with a weary smile whispered, “Thank You.”


Maybe Colin did answer me, after all.


Life is the biggest gift you will ever be given. Some will use it well and others will not. Colin taught me that we not only need to make the most of our lives, but to be appreciative of even the smallest things. Be thankful for what you have, for you never know when it will be gone.





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