I’m one of three siblings. I have always had someone up ahead and someone on trailing behind me. Ever since I was able to know I’ve had company- loud company. There were many a time that I craved some tranquillity and silence, that never was our family dynamic. It never was quiet, it was loud and exuberant.
One thing chronic illness impacts greatly is the sequence of life. Before my ME/CFS my sister would be the trial run for each milestone I would then have a go and pass on my wisdom to my younger brother once he got to that stage. We are a wildly different bunch, our genetic similarities kept us on the common ground somehow. That was the order in life, of course, we have different interests and we didn’t do the same things so we had our own experiences but now that is so wildly different.
I got to the age of eighteen and haven’t done a “typical” thing since. I haven’t learnt to drive, I haven’t packed my life up for uni, I wasn’t wild nor free. My brother is now eighteen and heading towards uni life and I have nothing to share with him. I have no shared middle ground like we used to. I am so enormously proud of his dedication and pure curiosity that never falters.
I’m the one faltering, he will be not living at home and I am the only one left with my parents.
Out of sequence with no happy resolution.
I will miss my brother more than he will ever know. I hope that uni is everything he thought it would be and more I want him to squeeze everything out of what is on offer but all I can think is:
“And Then There Was One”
I feel untethered and lacking in direction in life. I have options and I know that life is what you make it but the house will be a whole lot quieter and I won’t be finding random socks everywhere all the time. I know this is the stage I was always dreading and hoping I’d be the one to leave first, after all, he is a good 5 years younger than me. It wasn’t meant to be. I am now the only in the house I grew up in and I am the one with a faltering step. I don’t know what will happen but I do know my brother will be sorely missed and I will be counting down until Christmas Break.
None of this is his fault and I know that his life moving on isn’t meant to be a reflection of my life changed but still the same. It just reminds me of the girl who had aspirations and big ones at that. Sometimes I feel like that girl is stuck inside me tearing her hair out because life hasn’t gone to plan and her dreams have all but disappeared. She didn’t get to go and make her impact on the world.
Conversely, I know I wouldn’t have met Baloo without ME, I wouldn’t be running this blog, I wouldn’t have a deep appreciation for overall health and happiness rather than money and success. To every unexpected life sadness, great things will come along. It’s still bittersweet.
The new will take a while to get used to but I will adapt and count down the days until the house is full again.