Friday, May 27, 2005

My Sister's Keeper

Remember what I said about bookclub? I take it back. If you're a mother who knows mourning, if you're a mother who knows hospitals, don't read this book unless you feel like prodding at the pain, bringing up the thoughts that you stamp stamp stamp down so hard you don't even realize they're there. Don't read it without the Kleenexes and the quiet, empty house. The rest of you - you can read it with that strange fascination with which we all imagine the worst case scenarios in our lives, like imagining your own funeral or the death of your loved ones.

I am over 200 pages along, now, and I have decided that I won't put this one down. I will finish the book, though I don't know if that's a good idea or a bad one. I'm not suggesting that this book is high art, but it does touch on the truth and it awakens the hurt.

Eisbaer wonders about loving her impending second child as much as she loves her first. Everyone smiles patronizingly. Of course you love your children. Parents always love their children.

But that's not true at all, is it?

And even when we do love all of our children, we don't love them all equally or in the same ways.

There's me, and I'm unique because I'm the oldest, the first. There's Grace and she's always striven to be unique, with her hair, her clothes, her nose ring. But then there's Jessica, the green kangaroo, who never strove to be anything - she just was and is. And she could always make my mother's face light up like nothing else on earth, there's no denying it.

Back to the book. I started out crying and thinking that I was Zanne but was given Sara's burden. Then I realized that Zanne and Sara are really the same. And that Sara is doing a really really bad job of it, despite the fact that everyone thinks she is so strong and is doing so well.

And I realized that I am Sara, after all.

1 comment:

portia said...

I feel that same way, but I used to feel it much more strongly. I'm not sure what changed; I hit a rhythym, I guess, a stride where my good days outnumbered my bad, and when I allowed myself to not overlook lp's smile.

You have much more to protect, in terms of our hearts walking around outside our bodies, and there are things you cannot take for granted. Give yourself time to be more comfortable with the love she's giving back to you, and you'll see that it helps. Your daughter is healthy, and happy, and beautiful, and you are doing a wonderful job as her mother.