Friday, September 3, 2010
When I wanted to separate from my brother, my mother was not happy. She was convinced my decision would bring nothing good except extreme sadness into our lives.
She begged me to change my mind. For the first time in my life, I never listened to my mother. I broke her heart. I wanted the separation at any cost.
I was tired of living in my brother’s shadow. I wanted to have my own identity. I wanted to have my own space. I have wanted to my own voice.
As long as my brother and I are together, I will never have my dreams come true. With my brother, only his opinions mattered. He always has the last say.
For years I have allowed my brother to walk all over me. I have allowed my brother to bully me. I have kept quiet. I have suppressed my frustrations.
But now I wanted my freedom. I didn’t want my brother to dominate my life any more. Seeing my mother’s grief, my brother didn’t want us to separate.
He promised that he would change. He would become a better man. He would become a better brother. But I was not convinced.
”A leopard can change its spots but not my brother,” I said to him.
In the end I had my way. The separation took place. I thought I would have enjoyed my freedom. I thought I would finally have happiness.
But I was extremely wrong. My mother prediction became a reality. Our separation had a sad ending. Indeed it was a sad ending that was beyond my imagination.
Our separation killed our mother. The stress of our separation was too much for her to bear. In the end, she suffered a heart attack and died immediately.
My brother was furious beyond words. He held me responsible for my mother’s death.
“You wanted the separation so badly and now our mother is dead because of it,” my brother shouted at me.
“I can never forgive you. You are dead for me. We are no longer brothers. I will never see you again. We will be separated forever. ”
My brother just disappeared from my life. For many years I have written countless letters to my brother asking him to forgive me … asking him to forget the past… asking us to be brothers again … asking for a reunion.He never answered any of my letters.
Twenty years later, out of the blue, finally my brother wrote a letter to me, agreeing to have a reunion…agreeing to let bygones be bygones… agreeing to forgive and forget.
I was jumping with joy. I prepared all his favourite dishes. I thought we are going to have feast and remember the good old days. But what my heart desired didn’t come true.
My brother didn’t turn up for our reunion. A few days later he wrote me a long rambling letter telling me that he can’t forget the past…He can’tbring himself to forgive me.
“Mahatma Ghandi said that the weak can never forgive,” my brother wrote in his letter.
“Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. But I am not strong enough to forgive you. I am not strong enough to forget the past. May be you are right when you said a leopard can change its spot but not your brother.”
His letter broke my heart. Now I am certain our reunion will never take place… we will never meet again… we will never be brothers again.
Indeed separating me from my brother was not an easy task. There was a possibility one of us could have die. There is always a danger in separating twins that are joined.
Instead the operation went smoothly. We survived. But our mother didn’t. In the waiting room our mother was worried to death about our safety on the operation table. The fear that one of us could die was dancing heavily in her heart.
After the operation was completed, the nurse arrived at the waiting room to deliver the good news to my mother. But she was no longer alive.She was found dead in her chair. She suffered a heart attack. Her worries killed her. Her fears killed her.
When my brother and I first heard her death, we had a hard time digesting the news. She was only 50 when she passed away. Indeed too young to die.When my mother first gave birth to us, she cried her heart out. She was totally disappointed and dishearten.No mothers wanted freaks like us as children and my mother was no different. It took her weeks before she laid eyes on us.
Once she held us in her arm, her heart melted and she stopped hating us. We became the joy of her life. She never allowed any surgery to perform on us. She was afraid that one of us would die on the operation table.
“I cannot afford to lose any of my sons,” she said to the doctor.
My mother was happy with she had. My mother was grateful with what God have given her. But my mom was not in my shoes. She cannot feel the misery I felt. She cannot feel the frustration I felt.
She didn’t have to endure the weird stares I got whenever my brother and I were out in the public. Joined twins always attract unwanted attention. I felt like a circus clown.
She didn’t have a domineering brother who will not allow her to have her own voices. In the end I broke my mother’s heart to pursue my own happiness. I would rather take the risk of dying on the operation table than enduring a life full of sadness… a life full of frustrations.
But happiness didn’t come the way I had imagined. If I have known the end will be like this, I would not have agreed to have the operation. I didn’t want my mother to die. I didn’t want to be separated from my brother forever.I would remain glued to my brother and suffered in silence. Sometimes silent suffering is necessary. It can be a key to happiness.