MountainWings - The Daily Inspirational E-Mail #1073
Helping You Over The Mountains of Life

I was then an only child who had everything I could ever want. But 
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 and how we'd always be together and how much you 
would look like me.

So, 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 cry sounded odd -- 
almost like a kitten's. 

So we brought you to many doctors. The thirteenth doctor who looked at you 
quietly said you have the "cry du chat" (pronounced kree-do-sha) syndrome, '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 afflicts one in 50,000 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 
would get around that you're not normal. So 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. And 
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. Every time 
she put your toys down, you'd 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'd struggle and you'd cry in that pitiful way, the cry of the 
kitten. But she still didn't give up. Then one day, you defied what all 
your doctors said -- you crawled. 

When Mom saw this, she knew that you would eventually walk. So when you were 
still crawling at age four, she'd put you on the grass with only your diapers on 
knowing that you'd hate the feel of the grass your skin, and smile at your 

You would crawl to the sidewalk and Mom would put you back. 

Again and again, Mom repeated this 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.

Laughing and crying, she shouted for Dad and I to come. 

Dad hugged you crying openly. I watched from my bedroom window this 
heartbreaking scene. 

Over the years, Mom taught you to speak, read and write. From then 
on, I would sometimes see you walk outside, smell the flowers, marvel at 
the birds, or just smile at no one. I began to see the beauty of the world 
around me, the simplicity of life and the wonders of this world, through 
your eyes. It was then, that I realized that you were my brother, and no 
matter how much I tried to hate you, I couldn't, because I had grown to 
love you. 

During the next few days, we again became acquainted with each other. 

I would buy you toys and give you all the love that a sister could ever 
give to her brother. You would reward me by smiling and hugging me. 
But I guess, you were never really meant for us. On your tenth birthday, 
you felt severe headaches. 

The doctor's diagnosis -- leukemia. 

Mom gasped and Dad held her, while I fought hard to keep my tears from falling. 
At that moment, I loved you all the more. I couldn't even bear to leave your 

Then the doctors told us that your only hope was to have a bone marrow 

You became the subject of a nationwide donor search. When at last we found the 
right match, you were too sick, and the doctor reluctantly ruled out the 

Since then, you've underwent chemotherapy and radiation. 

Even at the end, you continued to pursue life. Just a month before you died, 
you made me draw up a list of things you wanted to do when you got out of the 
hospital. Two days after the list was completed, you asked the doctors to send 
you home. 

There, we ate ice cream and cake, ran across the grass, flew kites, went 
fishing, took pictures of one another and let the balloons fly. 

I remember the last conversation that we had. You said that if you die, 
and if I need help, I could send you a note to heaven by tying it on the string 
of a balloon and letting it fly. 

When you said this, I started crying. Then you hugged me. Then again, for the 
last time, you got sick. 

That last night, you asked for water, a back rub, a cuddle. Finally, you went 
into seizure with tears streaming down your face. Later, at the hospital, you 
struggled to talk but the words wouldn't come. 

I know what you wanted to say. "I hear you," I whispered. And for the last 
time, I said, "I'll always love you and I will never forget you. 

Don't be afraid. You'll soon be with God in heaven." 

Then, with my tears flowing freely, I watched the bravest boy I had ever known 
finally stop breathing. 

Dad, Mom and I cried until I felt as if there were no more tears left. 

Patrick was finally gone, leaving us behind. 

From then on, you were my source of inspiration. 

You showed me how to love life and live life to the fullest. 

With your simplicity and honesty, you showed me a world full of love and 
caring. And you made me realize that the most important thing in this life 
is to continue loving without asking why or how and without setting any 

Thank you, my little brother, for all these. 

Your sister, 

p.s. The most important thing in this life is to continue loving without asking 
why or how and without setting any limit.

Thank you for inviting MountainWings in your mailbox.
See you tomorrow.
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