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My Little Brother

Dear Patrick,

I was then an only child who had everything I wanted. However, even a pretty, spoiled and rich kid could get lonely once in a while so when Mom told me that she was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I imagined how wonderful you would be, how we would always be together and how much you would look like me. Hence, when you were born, I looked at your tiny hands and feet and marveled at how beautiful you were.

We took you home and I showed you proudly to my friends. They would touch you and sometimes pinch you but you never reacted. When you were five months old, some things began to bother Mom. You seemed so unmoving and numb and your cries sounded odd - almost like a kitten's. Therefore, we brought you to see many doctors.

The thirteenth doctor who looked at you quietly said you have "cri du chat" (pronounced as Kree-do-sha) syndrome or "cry of the cat" in French.

When I asked what that meant, he looked at me with pity and softly said, "Your brother will never walk nor talk."
The doctor told us that it is a condition that affects one in fifty thousand babies, rendering victims severely retarded. Mom was shocked and I was furious. I thought it was unfair.

When we went home, Mom took you in her arms and cried. I looked at you and realized that word will get around that you're not normal. Hence, to hold on to my popularity, I did the unthinkable. I disowned you. Mom and Dad didn't know but I steeled myself not to love you as you grew. Mom and Dad showered you with love and attention and that made me bitter. As the years passed, that bitterness turned to anger and then hate.

Mom never gave up on you. She knew she had to do it for your sake.

Everytime she put your toys down, you would roll instead of crawl. I watched her heart break every time she took away your toys and strapped your tummy with foam so you couldn't roll. You struggle and cry in that pitiful way, the cry of the kitten. However, she still didn't give up.

Then one day, you defied what all your doctors said and you crawled.


When mom saw this, she knew you would eventually walk. Therefore, when you were still crawling at aged four, she put you on the grass with only your diapers on knowing that you hate the feel of the grass on your skin.

Then, she would leave you there. I would sometimes watch from the windows and smile at your discomfort. You would crawl to the sidewalk and Mom would put you back. Mom repeated this again and again on the lawn. Until one day, Mom saw you pull yourself up and toddle off the grass as fast as your little legs could carry you.

She was laughing and shouting as she shouted for Dad and me to come. Dad hugged you crying openly.




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