Saturday, 9 October 2010

My Brother's Story

Will God be angry with me for NOT asking for anything for MYSELF?

When I see my brother on that hospital bed, I think to myself that I am very content with how my life is-marriage, a house, a job. It’s the life I know my brother wishes every single day that he had, but all I see is NOT a hint of envy in him; rather, his blessings.

It’s been 14 days since 21-year-old Robin was admitted into the hospital for a collapsed lung due to his already weakening muscles as a result of a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. For three days straight, he was unconscious; for a few days following, he was half-awake. For the past four days, he’s been fully awake and there are times when he smiles and laughs. There are times when he gets emotional (he would kill me if he knew I wrote that). There are times when he gazes off behind the wall in front of him as if joy is hidden behind them. When asking him if he's thinking about something or worried, he denies it.

The day before my arrival to the USA, after over a year of living abroad, not only did my brother and I make plans on family outings together, but also, I had lost my USB disk. Within that disk is the saved edited version of my psychological complex thriller novel. It was meant to be that I lose it. It was meant to be that my brother become unexpectedly MORE ill than he already was while I'm still in the USA. AND…it was meant to be that I finally think about what he had said to me the second day of my visit, “In the future, you’re going to write my story, right?”

Those words are familiar to me because at least once a year, that question rings in my ear. In response, I hesitantly say, ‘If God wills me to write it.' What I don’t say is, ‘I’m afraid…I’m afraid of writing your story, of writing it from my point-of-view, of dwelling upon the emotions that I try so hard to suppress, and most of all, of revealing them to the world.’

I don't like to cry in front of my parents and my brother. I don’t want them to see me helpless when THEY are; I want to be strong FOR them. Even more, I want to keep pretending that everything is going to be okay, that life is more normal than it really is for us. I want to be blissfully ignorant, while still being somewhat aware of what's happening.

I can’t pretend anymore; it’s time to write my brother’s story.

Selling point? He has no super powers (I just lost hundreds of dollars/pounds?); he hasn’t built the world’s tallest building (I just lost thousands?) or brainstormed some brilliant invention (I lost millions already?).

Invaluable-He graduated from high school, was part of the high school choir with his opera-like voice (no longer the same after surgery), has the most amazing collection of model cars, is a sociable person, and once having met you, he will always remember the way you looked and exactly how the conversation went. Basically, Robin is living LIFE.


  1. Robin IS and WILL ALWAYS be a Super Hero for me.


  2. Such a powerful story, he truly is a hero, and an inspiration. xxx

  3. My dua always for you and Robin may Allah give him good health Inshallah.

  4. Aww Bhabi you have brought tears to my eyes...I agree with Kruti- he is a super hero all the things he has gone through and is going through. You are amazing yourself x

  5. A super hero does not always have xray vision, wear a cape or fly... but they all have 1 thing in common. They have power.

    In our case, that power is to touch our lives, so significantly, in ways others can never really imagine. To see them and their strength and ability to soldier on - is one of the most inspirational lessons ever known.

    My nephew DAVID has duchenne. He is 14 yrs old.

    To watch one that we love suffer, and miss out is unbearable at times. We hide from them the reality of it all... well, so we think. He is the one living it after all.
    I try to make the most of now... but forever in the back of my mind is the "truth" and the inevitable outcome.

    To right his story is an amazing idea and through it, he will live on and his strength and courage will be shared with so many.

    I wish you well on this journey xx


  6. Rumki you need to write his story, this is your calling, I read it again and the power of his story remains to be immense as the first time I read it. x