It’s the start of a new week. Another weekend has come and gone. Yesterday was Sibling’s Day, which I always seem to forget about each year. But every year without fail, my brother always remembers. In honor of Sibling’s Day, my blog post is about “My Earliest Childhood Memory”.
My Earliest Childhood Memory
Thinking back to the earliest memory in your childhood is much harder than it seems. For me personally, trying to remember my earliest childhood memory results in “fuzzy” memories that become more of like a “snapshot” of moments in time. And while I cannot recall a specific memory in my childhood, all I know is that even though I’m three years older than him, I can’t remember what it was like not to have my brother.
Coincidentally, yesterday was Sibling’s Day. My brother posted on Facebook a picture of him and I dancing together as flower girl and ring bearer at our aunt and uncle’s wedding in 1995. He also posted the following comment:
“Happy Sibling’s Day! This kid has done everything for me, and always been at my side…even near death. I’m so blessed to have an awesome sister.”
At the end of September 2015, our entire lives changed. One Monday evening, I found my brother on the floor. He was barely moving and hardly responsive. I called 911 and the EMTs took him to a local hospital. An hour later, the ER doctor told us he suffered an aneurysm, it was life threatening, and they were life-flighting him to Boston. He was running out of time.
At that moment your whole life is different.
After sitting at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston for nearly two hours, which felt like two years, the emergency doctor told my family and I that “things didn’t look good”, and to say our goodbyes.
I looked at my brother, my baby brother, lying there with all kinds of tubes and bandages surrounding his head. It was so unreal to me that just thatmorning he had gotten up, was playing with my cat, and went off to work like any other morning.
Watching him lie there, motionless, watching the life slip away from him, and knowing there was nothing I could do to help, was by the far the hardest thing I’ve seen in my life. How could life be so cruel and so damaging in literally an instant?
All I could think of during that time was, “I can’t believe it. My brother is going to die tonight. My baby brother—the ONLY one I grew up with, the ONLY one I ever took care of, and probably the closest soul to me on this planet—was about to die.”
Memories to Miracles
Every childhood memory swept by me. Memories of us running through the backyard together; memories of us on vacation; memories of us playing in our pool; memories that I would never forget…
In the next two hours, they moved my brother to ICU, and a miracle happened: The ICU nurse came out to tell us that they drilled a drain into the back of his head to remove the blood and pressure from his hemorrhage, and that the procedure was successful. He was finally in a stable condition. At that point, the next steps were unknown, but it didn’t matter; all that mattered was that he was ALIVE.
After breathing the biggest sigh of relief, the nurse looked at me and said, “I want you to know you saved your brother’s life.”
Six months later, my brother has made almost a full recovery.
We Never Really “Grow Up” From Childhood
I believe now more than ever that even as you transition from child to adult, hitting each one of life’s milestones, and as you learn, develop, and grow, no matter where you go or what you do, childhood is always a part of you. It plays a huge part in shaping who you become.
Even as adults, we often encounter small things each day that bring us back to our childhood. Whether it’s finding your favorite toy in the attic, visiting your old school or neighborhood, hearing a song you heard on the radio or seeing an old movie on TV, our childhood is still very much within us, and is never really lost.
The Greatest Childhood Memory
I see so many people who take advantage of what or whom they have. We always want more money, a better job, a newer car, a bigger house, etc. But I’ve always been different. I’ve always believed that it’s the little things in life that are the greatest and happiest moments. All the money, success, and fame in the world can’t buy them. The greatest things in life are right in front of you.
So my earliest childhood memory? That’s a tough one to nail down, but I think the greatest memory from my childhood is—and will always be—my brother.
Happy belated Sibling’s Day.