My brother is starting his ninth week at the hospital. He spent almost eight weeks in the ICU and was just moved to a regular hospital room on Tuesday. I have spent a lot of time at the hospital this summer, more some weeks than others, but always trying to help when I can.
Nurses and friends have made odd, yet nice comments, saying what a good sister I am. They say they don’t know very many sisters that would be there like that for their brothers.
And it makes me wonder: Could that be true? Would a sibling who lived close by really not help their brother or sister at the hospital?
Rose and Walsh and Lilina are all so close now — doing so much together from playing to bathing (not Rose and Walsh), to cuddling up in the same bed — that I can’t imagine them not being there for each other as adults.
There are so many shared sibling experiences. Only your brothers and sisters know what growing up in your house was like. Only they know the idiosyncrasies of your parents, and how you ended up the way you are. They get you long before a spouse even meets you.
At this age, if someone were to pick on Rose or Walsh I know the other would jump in and stand up for their sibling. And God bless the poor kid that picks on their baby sister because neither one of them would have it!
My brother was like that for me when we were little. He defended me at the bus stop, at summer camp, and in high school. He would let me tramp through the woods with him and his friends when we were little. He let me go out with him on Friday nights in high school after football games and he even let me tag along to fraternity parties when I was still in high school. He brought his friends to UGA to visit me when I did start college.
We’ve had our share of rivalries through the years, but that all seems washed away now.
Now that he’s in a private room, we need a family member with him 24/7. He had to have a tracheotomy so he can’t talk yet (above a whisper), and he can’t walk yet (his muscles are completely gone after two months in bed). This week I will be his night nurse and sleep at the hospital. (His wife is teaching school so she has to be fresh in the mornings and we don’t want my mom sleeping in a chair – or even a couch.) I am enjoying my time with him so much – watching movies and just talking. And I don’t mind helping the nurse with his bed pan, lifting him in the bed or feeding him his crushed up meds. I’m happy to be of some help to my big brother, and I can’t imagine other sibs not helping each other in the same manner.
What do you think: Were you close to your siblings as children? Are you close now? Would you help your sib at the hospital, paint a house, babysit their kids? What are factors in helping sibs stay close through the years?