If I could have said this then, I would have. Better late than never:
Sisters: I am sorry for all the playtime you lost because of me. You must have wasted so many hours in boredom, on my behalf. I am sorry for worrying you. I am sorry for any tears I caused you.
Little brother: I am sorry for stealing your spotlight. You were the baby, and you should have been spoiled. Instead, it was me everyone worried about. If I had it my way, I would have chosen invisibility over disability. I am sorry for not being there to play catch with you. I am sorry I couldn’t be the big, strong one to teach you the ropes.
Mom and Dad: I am sorry for the sleepless nights you had because of me. I am sorry for the massive strain I added to your already heavy load. I wish it could have been easier for you. I wish I could have been just another one of your little kids. I wish I could make you proud by doing something other than just surviving.
Chris – there is no way that you should ever feel guilt –for something which you had no control over. There was no boredom – now anger – absolutely!!! But, never at you. I wished so many times that I could kick the shit outta that mother fuckin cancer!!! That I could rescue you – if anything it was the realization that I was a peon in the face of this monster – who gripped my beloved brother that caused me so much pain. Tears? Yes, I’ve shed so many – but wouldn’t you for me.
I have a vivid memory of you & I playing – running and swinging from the monkey bars at this playground before your diagnosis. I had so much fun playing with you it was a time when you were so free, I cherish those memories. And then that all changed. My pain came from watching you being confined to a hospital bed to those fuckin tubes – from watching my brother ripped away from me. I was mad as fuck that you had & have had to endure so much. It has never been you I blamed (My God that has never ever crossed my mind) – for I am so blessed to have you as my brother. I blame the fuckin cancer and all the shit it brought with it!!! All the pain & all the suffering you have had to endure breaks my heart – but again wouldn’t your heart break if it was me? yes, so that is normal. So, please never feel guilty for me loving you.
My Chrispin – you say “surviving” so cavalierly – do not make light of all the strength, tenacity and resiliency you possess & have shown. Those men who have climbed Mt. Everest have nothing on you – you have climbed it a trillion times over. And those men who climbed it wanted to – but you didn’t ask for it or want to but you did so anyway. You are the strongest man I have ever known.