December 18, 2010

another brother

Dear Benjamin,
How are you, small brother? I've never thought of you so much in my life as I have these last few days, and I'm not sure why.

I was very young -- probably too young -- when I learned about you. I hardly understood what "abortion" even meant, except from the context of the conversation. I remember our mom talked about it like a memory of a dream. A baby who was never born. A baby boy, another brother. He would be younger than Kyle, but older than [Gretchen]. Baby Ben.

Of course, she made it her thing, presented it as her thing, like she always does. As if it was nothing to do with me. As if her choices and her struggles had no effect on my life whatsoever. As if it were
her trauma alone, and her tears to cry, and there was no reason for me to be getting so upset about it. And maybe that's why I shut it down, put my feelings about you away; because she acted as if I were stealing something that wasn't mine. But you are mine, too, aren't you? You are. You're my family.

I could say all kinds of angry, bitter things here about our parents, and I could speculate about what it might have been like, if you'd had a chance to be born; what might have been better, what would have undoubtably been worse. But really all I wanted to say was: Hi, baby brother. I'm your older sister, and I remember you. Maybe you've met my children, your neice and nephew? Maybe the three of you are great friends by now.

You would be about 22 years old, I think, if you were here. But you're not here; and it's sad to say, but I can't help thinking maybe you are the luckiest sibling after all.

Peace be with you, my dear. Happy Christmas.
Love from you sister -- Vera


  1. Wow I ponder that question all the time. Were they better off? I would have a 29 yr old right now. And possibly more older children, brothers and sisters for my little Evan that would love him as I do. Especially now that I want a brother or sister for him so regrets are huge. But I ask the same question. How would their lives have been? Me in my crazy horrible life that I was in...what kind of mother would I have been? Would I have reformed and been good to them? Or would I have dragged them around from one madhouse to another and exposed them to horrible people and scary situations? I will never know. What I do know is that everything has led up to now and if anything had been different I would not have my Evan and I would not be the loving mother that I am today. Everything in your life is leading you SOMEWHERE just have not gotten there yet. And someday you will arrive and you will feel like I do now, and you will say "Ahaa! This is what all the pain and the struggles were for. This time of my life.This is who I have become and I am proud of my life and who I am." For if it had not been the way it was it will not be the way it will be. You have something wonderful coming. It is so hard to be patient and to know that. But it is. I guarantee it. And when it comes you will be able to finally have some peace.

  2. A beautiful letter to your Ben. <3

  3. Oh. Tears. Tears. Tears. You are amazing.