My baby brother Michael died yesterday.
He was profoundly retarded. When he was born, the doctors told us it would be a miracle if he lived to be 16. But he did, and then he went on living another 7 years.
Michael was a baby all his life. He didn’t walk. He needed to be fed. He wore diapers. He was mostly blind, but he loved to have the sunshine on his face. He loved to hear people talk to him and loved having people fawn over him. He loved music. He hated to be held, but there was no other way to move him around. He may have been my brother, but he was heavy. He hated loud noises. He hated having to wait for his dinner and would make an awful racket.
Michael was lucky that my parents shouldered the burden of taking care of him. My parents chose to sacrifice everything they could to make Michael happy, and they succeeded. Michael was happy almost every day of his life. What more could anyone ask out of this wicked world?
And I miss him terribly. Even though I knew it was going to happen soon. Even though I’ve been expecting that call for years. It’s hard to realize exactly how much you love someone like that until they’re gone, and now he’s gone, my sweet baby brother Michael.