Big Sister

Corina Hébert

Marc was a gifted writer. That sounds like a lame way for me to start my
story, but all stories must start somewhere. I'm not pretending to be a writer
like Marc, but sometimes it helps to put your thoughts on paper.

All of us have memories, tragedies have a way of making us all stop and
think. You try to think of the good times, in hopes that the current pain you
are feeling might lessen some.

My earliest memory of Marc is when he was brought home from the hospital.
My dad had told me prior to him coming that "you need to act like a big
sister." I must be quiet when he is sleeping, and behave like a good girl. I do
admit that this felt like a "huge" job in my three-year-old mind, but I was
intrigued by the notion of being a big sister.

Family and friends had come to see the baby, they all seemed so tall and
"my" little brother was way up in their arms. For once Corina was not the
center of attention. This seemed like the ideal time to show off. I started to run
through the house screaming my lungs out. I ran up the stairs and then down,
my dad caught me on my way down, he spanked me and told me that big sisters do
not act like that. At this moment in time I thought being a big sister sucked.

My mind jumps ahead to when we all found out Marc had diabetes. I can
clearly remember my mom, dad, Paul and I walking to the elevator, we were told
that we must leave him and go eat some dinner. I felt so strange, the four of us
going to dinner and leaving Marc behind. Then I could hear him running
towards us yelling, "mommy don't go." The elevator doors closed as we watched a nurse
grab this frail five-year-old boy to take him back to his room. This is my
first memory of feeling a stab in my heart. I now understood my job as big
sister. I went to that hospital everyday to color and play with my little brother.
He was getting so much attention from all of the adults again, but I did not
mind. Being a big sister was good.

Not too long after he got out of the hospital I wanted to roller skate in
the driveway. Marc did not have a pair of skates that fit him, I said he
could wear an old pair of mine that were way too big for him. When he fell and
started to cry like I had never heard, I felt that same stab in my heart. This
was all my fault, I wanted to skate. He broke his leg and I had failed as a big

During this period of his leg being broken we did have some good times. I
have a happy memory of the wheelchair being delivered. My brothers and I
could not wait to get Marc's new set of wheels. The man brought the chair into the
house, and he put Marc into it. Paul climbed into the chair with Marc. Now I
could play big sister and push them all around the house. The delivery-man was
going over paperwork with our mom, as I zoomed them all around the house, the
two boys giggled in delight. I ended up taking the corner to the living room
too wide and I knocked down the wall. Once the plaster was done falling to the
floor the room grew so quiet. What do you say when your child has taken down
a wall within minutes of the chair being delivered? I will never forget
turning slowly to see my mother's reaction. My mother casually looked at the man and
told him "I never liked that wall."

There are so many stories and moments in time that we will always carry
with us. The one that will always stay with me is my brother's coming to my
house for a party a couple of weeks back. This was the last time I saw Marc. My
friend Heather and I ended up very drunk. Marc spent the whole party
baby-sitting us. He picked us up off the ground when we fell down. He followed us when we
decided to go on a walk. My friend Heather told me I was so lucky to have
such a nice brother. Later, I was so afraid that he did not have a good time, he
reassured me that he had a blast. This time the tables were reversed, he was
my big brother and I was his little sister.