At seven she played Mother to the brother twice her age. She was the one to watch him, make sure he ate, told him that he was special. She was far to grown for her age, and he would always have the mind of a toddler.
Her Mother was around in body, but everyone knew that she was crazy, the woman In her early thirties spent most of her days rocking back and forth, or hugging herself. Sometimes she would stare at the T.V for hours and then go into fits of laughter, scaring Trevor and leaving Lily with the job of comforting the brother who was twice her age. Lily was the families strong point, there hope
Even at seven Lily knew she was going to do something with her life, she was going to help people, and she was going to write. She spent hours at a time telling Trevor stories which went on for hours with Trevor begging for more. It was hard for her to say no to Trevor, she loved pleasing her big brother, who was actually more like a baby brother, she knew when they got older she would be the one taking care of Trevor. Her Mama was crazy! She knew that and that left her with the responsibility of being Trevor’s provider. She was the one who did the shopping after her Mama cashed the checks that were sent by Lily’s grandmother. One day she imagined herself going to stay in that wonderful house with her Grandma.
It had been Grandma who named Lily. She had seen a Lily the dawn of the child’s birth and thought that name was fitting for a pretty little girl, which Lily was. She had Golden blonde curls and blue eyes, Grandma had said Lily looked like Shirley Temple. Lily liked that compliment because she knew how much her Grandma had wanted to look like Shirley Temple when she was a little girl.
Lily had been to Grandma’s house before, before her Mama started going crazy they had spent summers there her and Trevor playing outside in the green grass, smelling the pretty flowers. Grandma had planted Lilies in her flower garden after Lily was born and Lily loved to go look at those pretty flowers, Trevor did too, but more often than not Trevor tried to eat those pretty flowers.
After their Mama got sick she refused to go to her Mother’s house and Lily Couldn’t leave her Mama alone in the condition she was in, so she didn’t go either, she stayed to take care of Mama and Trevor. She was only seven but she cooked, cleaned, and did the laundry as best as she could, and still managed to do well in school. She was a bright little girl with the weight of the world on her small shoulders.
Trevor was smaller than she was although he was fourteen. He had the characteristics of a child with multiple handicaps, and moderate to severe brain damage. Nobody understood why Trevor was born different, but he was different and that made Lily want to protect him from the world.
Some kids were cruel calling him names, but Lily always stuck up for him she could be as quick with her hands as she was with her mouth.
Lily awoke early every morning, as soon as dawn arrived she was out of bed. She would begin by Preparing her and Trevor’s lunch for school, which most of the time consisted of A peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Trevor a cup of pudding and juice and she always added a piece of fruit to his lunch it meant sacrificing from what she had. She drew him smiley faces all over the brown paper bag, because he loved the smiley faces. Once Lily made sure Trevor caught the bus he rode to the special school he attended she got herself ready for school, often missing breakfast because she ran short on time. Especially on morning when Trevor was difficult or when Mama’s craziness seemed worse than normal. Lily often tried to imagine what it would be like to be a regular family again, but the memories were beginning to escape her. She knew that one day she would give Trevor a normal life as possible though, and provide for her brother in ways her Mother could not.
One day when Lily grew up, she would buy a nice house where her and Trevor could stay and when she married she would make sure her husband knew that she was going to take care of Trevor. It was a plan she had since her Mama had gone crazy, and a plan she didn’t want to change, because Trevor was her brother and she was meant to take care of Him, because he would always be a child, if not in body in mind, even at the tender age of seven Lily understood this, she understood more than most seven year olds did, because she had lived a life harder than most seven year olds could ever imagine or want to imagine.
“Trevor I’ll always take care of you.” Lily Promised.
“I love you Lily.” Was Trevor’s reply.” You are a good sister and good Mommy. ”
It was true Lily was much more than just a sister she was the thread that tied this Family together.
© Michelle R Kidwell
Revised © Michelle R Kidwell