Wednesday, July 16

It needs to be said

Monday morning I woke up and walked into my parent's kitchen. In the time it took me to pour my morning coffee, I realized that I should have examined the situation a bit more closely before daring to do such a dangerous thing such as mindlessly enter the kitchen in a half-awaken state. My 31 year old, mentally challenged brother was upset and was arguing with my father.  "Good morning!" I tried in my most cheerful voice. Maybe that would distract him. To no avail. By the time I was done with my coffee, I was in a war zone as he hurled insults at my dad like missiles. Too distressed to eat, I went walking instead, glancing over my shoulder periodically to make sure I wasn't being chased by an irrational lunatic disguised as my brother.

Tuesday, I was not so lucky. Instead of an alarm clock getting me up, it was yelling and screaming. My brother was having a fit again over something insignificant in our eyes, yet of life or death matters in his. "Let's go out," my mom suggested. We convinced him to leave the house with us and traipsed from store to store, seeking to divert his attention and change his mood. Our attempt seemed successful until lunch time. While my mom guarded the garage door, blocking any attempts of my brother deciding to go out and do something foolish, I retreated in prayer, hoping that today would not result with yet another trip to the mental health crisis center.

And then, the storm passed. Wednesday, I baked my brother a mini casserole, duplicate to the one I was sharing with friends at lunch, and saw him smile. Later, we took a silly FaceBook quiz determining his pet personality (What pet are you!?). We went swimming a quarter to 10 at night, just because its summer and we can. It was a beautiful day.

I'll never understand why my brother is mentally ill or why God never chose to heal him. I'll always feel pain for the daily struggles my aging parents endure in trying to give him the best life possible instead of giving up on him. But I thank God for days like this Wednesday, when there is peace and happy memories replace the bad.

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