Julian This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 16, 2012
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I sat there not really looking at anything nor thinking. Numbness simply devoured me, it usually takes some sort of shock to make a person numb, but this feeling filled me and made me strangely glad. I didn’t want to feel the pain coursing through the veins of my family and partial family. I didn’t want this situation at this moment to happen and yet nothing I could do would stop it from running its course. Right now, every family stood the chance of falling apart and never becoming whole again.

I sat, in the waiting room looking from wall to wall noticing their similarities. I wanted something to distract me from the gloomy faces that filled the waiting room. I started with one wall – yellow lined with smiling teddy bears. I stopped and wondered for a minute. What made them smile? Nothing good or happy belonged here. A place where people often checked in but never checked out. Every wall whispered death. Mu personal fear became a reality the moment I set foot in the hospital.

“How long is this going to take?” I asked my grandmother, sitting next to me.

“I don’t know sweetheart. Julian is very sick and the doctors are trying very hard to make him better” she whispered, full of sadness.

“I hope he gets better, “I said taking her hand giving her the last bit of strength I held on to.
My mother sat farthest from us all. She constantly ran back and forth from the waiting room, to the room where they kept my baby brother prisoner. I loathed that room. Death and sadness stood in every corner. I looked around and saw the faces of the people that I loved- worry, fear, and sadness painted on their faces. I knew from that moment on that I never wanted to see that look on their faces again. The men sat covering their faces. Afraid to cry or show the slightest bit of weakness. The women stood tall by their sides holding them together. My family bred strong women, who dared God to try and take Julian away. Julian, the first boy in the family line, we weren’t letting him go. I sat by my grandmother listening to her faint whispering of the Lords prayers drifting from her lips to my ears. I felt like praying myself, but I couldn’t find the strength inside me to move my lips to say the simple powerful words I have known all my life.

Then I saw him. The man that I would go and visit every Sunday at noon and listen to him talk about my God our savior: A priest. Priests always scared me in a way about how mysterious they work. He came to baptize my brother. No! My mind screamed I knew priest only came to baptize people when they were dying. Julian couldn’t die, we needed him. He called all of us into a prayer circle to pray to God to save my brother and make him well again. My grandmother pulled me up at her side dragging me to the circle. We held hands, bowered our heads and prayed.

“Lord, please don’t take away my baby brother he is all we have right now. He is what makes my mother strong in the morning and what makes her day, when he smiles angelically.” I sent my prayer up to the Lord hoping that he would hear my plea of mercy.
He never let me down before. I looked across the circle to the woman that gave me life. Eyes closed her lips moved with the silent prayer. We broke the circle and the priest went to visit my brother.

“Please God, don’t take my brother away. He is special to my world and everyone that knows him. We cannot live without him.” I sent another prayer up to God making sure that he got my message.

I sat back down with my grandmother. My eyes began to sting as the tears that I was fighting broke through. My grandmother put her arm around me murmuring words of comfort that I did not want to hear. All I needed to know, my brother would be fine and could go home, but I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach it wouldn’t happen. My heart ached as my eyes ran out of tears. I tried to stop but all my will power had crumbled and now I felt defenseless.

I couldn’t take the pain that filled that room forming an air bubble, so I left. I tried running away from the pain but felt the pain creep inside my chest like a disease waiting to strike and kill at any moment it had a chance. I tried to put my mind elsewhere at this moment in time. Then I happened. My aunt got the phone call.

“He’s gone,” she said “The doctors tried everything that they could do to stop the disease from spreading but it didn’t work.”
My aunt caught me as my legs gave underneath me, from the sudden blow in my chest. I felt the disease strike and kill. My heart shattered, we drove to the hospital and walked cautiously into the same depressing room again. The bubble had popped and an awful stench filled the air, burning my nostrils. They walked me to the room where my mother sat holding my brothers lifeless body.

“He doesn’t look like himself. His poor little body blew up with all the medicine that they gave him. Where’s Julian? Where’s my baby?” she cried.

I looked down at his lifeless body. He wasn’t my Julian. My Julian- small and delicate not blown up like a balloon. The rest of my heart reached out to all those who needed it. My heart went to the doctors, my family, my mother, my stepfather, and to God. I knew he didn’t mean this to happen but sometimes people couldn’t stop the will of God.

I’m not angry with God. He taught me to always forgive, and to help others. Now I needed to save my mother; the woman who brought him into this world and sat there when God took him out of it. I prepared myself for a long and restless journey to recovery. I took my place on the path beside my mother, helping to steer her in the direction I knew best for her. Sometimes a strong woman needed guidance. God gave me the path that made me the person I am today. Julian would always be in my heart, but if I ever wanted to see him again, I needed to find the path back to my heart.

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