A common thing between families is that they always talk about their children’s birth history. About how happy it is, how tragic or funny, or how one of the parents passed out. I think this history keeps families together and creates happy memories that will keep them strong when the bad moments come, with life starting becoming so real, so cruel.
My family talked about my birth history. They told me about how I almost died before I was born. It’s a detail I have known my whole life. I almost died before I was born. My twin brother, Athedrus, died before he was born. A fact that I just learned a few years ago, when I started to know what death really means, not just a detail of a story my mom told me my whole life.
I started to think about it tonight, about my mom and my twin brother. About how she took years to tell me about someone I should have known my whole life. Today, I think she can’t. She couldn’t tell me about him. She lost a son. A baby son. She lost a son before she ever knew him. Someone she loved before ever met. Someone that was taken from her. She lost a son. I think it’s broken her heart, it’s broken my mom’s heart, one of the strongest women I ever know. She took years to talk about him because it’s broken her soul to ever think about Athedrus. My twin brother, Athedrus. Someone I will never meet. Someone who through death gave me life.
Furthermore, someone else gave me life too. Someone else sacrificed their own life to give me an opportunity.
In my culture, babies are gifts. They are common, but they are gifts. And this consensus always makes me feel uncomfortable, because, in my culture, every woman and man, after an age, is forced to have children. Three children, more precisely. A duty you must do to your nation. A duty to help your nation to stay powerful. To stay strong and survive the difficult times. A duty to bring glory and power for your family. A duty you should do no matter what.
When any person reaches the age that the nation says that the person needs to have children, you can’t take or make something that stops the conception. My mom doesn’t have control of her body. She can’t control when she wants to have children. Or how many children she will have.
Thus, my mom had children when her time came. It’s a duty, but at the same time, a gift. My mom loved each one of her children. And she would do anything for them. This always makes me admire my mom a lot more, because my brothers, and I were duties, but she still loved us. Always.
She was a healer, my mom. A powerful healer for his kind, so when my brother and I start to grow in her body, she knows about us. She will conceive two babies. A double gift. However, when she became aware of our existence it broke her heart, not because of us, but because of who our father was. Our offspring. He was a Dreamer, one of the few, or the one, in our world. The powerful kind that can make everything you want to become true. The kind that can stop armies and make every King’s dreams become real, in every nation of the world. The ones that help us build our world. Everyone says these things about them. But what anyone says is that The Dreamer’s children are rare. Weak. Fragile. That the children’s birth needs a lot of work and sacrifice.
The Dreamer’s children need magic, Dreamer’s magic. They need magic to grow in someone’s body, they need magic to be born, they need magic in the first periods of their life. My mom doesn’t have Dreamer’s magic. She just had the healer’s magic. She knows it. Thus, she couldn’t give life to us. But she does her best. Actually, she almost kills herself trying to give us life, to keep us alive. We almost killed her. I almost killed my mom trying selfishly to stay alive. But, she couldn’t. She didn’t have enough magic and didn’t have the right type of magic.
She used a magic that it’s not adequate to a baby’s Dreamer.
So, one day, she couldn’t handle us anymore, my mom. And Athedrus died.
My mom, as a healer, can feel us inside her. She could feel us growing. She could feel our life. Thus, She felt my brother dying inside her. She could feel him fighting for his life. Desperately trying to find the magic that would have kept him alive. But failing. Failing. Failing. And she couldn’t do anything. Just stay there while her baby boy dies.
Sometimes, I almost feel in my bones his life slipping away. I almost feel him dying. While I watch everything. And don’t make anything while he fights to stay with me a little long. I almost feel him dying dying dying dying. In my bones.
And All this thought makes me think: if I feel it, what my mom felt? I can’t measure her pain. I will never be able to understand my mom’s pain. Furthermore, I will never understand my mom’s strength.
A few times my sister, Sun, talked about what happened after Athedrus died. She was a kid when everything happened. But she remembers every single thing like yesterday. She says that will never forget what happened and how many things in her life changed after this day.
She was at home that day. Not only that, but she helped my mom keep us alive. She was a kid, but probably the most powerful healer in the nation. I think Sun is the only reason mom managed to keep us alive for so long without the right type of magic. But, although my mom did everything she could and Sun was there trying to keep the three of us alive, what we needed was dreamer’s magic. Thus, she was there when Athedrus died and my mom broke.
She was in the same room with my mom. She saw my mom’s heart break in two, and she saw my mom cry like the whole world died.
I wonder how Sun feels in this situation. She was a kid. Whose mom was pregnant and trying desperately to keep the babies. She was a kid trying to keep the unborn siblings alive. She was a kid seeing her mom crying like no tomorrow over a baby she ever met. Sun was a kid seeing her loving mom sad and can’t think of anything to do to bring a smile to the most sorrowful person she ever saw. And somehow, thinking about my older sister standing there looking at my mom is the saddest thing in the entire world.
Sun says that my mom cried for hours. And my big sister stood there trying to understand what happened and how to fix it. She was a healer. She fixes people. Sun says that the first hour she didn’t understand how she could not save a baby boy. The second hour she passed, felt us to find what went wrong. The third hour passed with Sun trying to find something to do to save her baby sister, because she could not fail with another sibling.
In the third hour, she found a way to save the baby girl. Something she listened to a long time ago, that our people do, when they don’t have hope. Whenever they had no other option. When they had no other person to look to find help.
Dear God, thank you for listening to me. Please, give me the wisdom I need to make good decisions to save my family. Please, give me the strength I need to save my family. And please give us a good night of sleep. That’s what I ask you and appreciate, God.