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For My Twin Sister

2006-07-24 21:05

  I am a healthy twenty-three year old, born with normal vision, normal hearing and normal speech. My twin sister, Dawn, was not born so lucky. My mother was very young when she had given birth to my sister and me. Because we were born so early we were placed in incubators until we were three weeks old.

  While in the incubator, the doctor administered too much oxygen to my sister. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a nervous disorder which causes a malfunction in the sensory motor skills and also brain damage. She had undergone several un- successful surgeries to restore her sight which was completely gone in her left eye and only 68% detectable in her right eye.

  Along with a slow developing brain, and legal blindness, it was also determined that she was legally deaf in her right ear. She had to wear braces on her legs and she had to walk with crutches. She stuck out like a sore thumb connected to all these contraptions, often causing people to stare and point.

  While growing up a twin, I felt my identity was not my own. I wanted to just be Donnette, NOT DAWN'S TWIN SISTER. We lived in a small neighborhood where my sister was the only 'different' child. We were both constantly picked on, and we never had any friends because of my sister's condition. I began to loathe my sister, and I did everything and anything to get her into trouble to get back at her being born mentally retarded and physically disabled.

  I felt like she was a constant thorn in my side. I was embarrassed to be seen with her, so I made fun of her right along with the other children. When I turned twelve my mother was so disgusted with my behavior towards my sister, she figured I was old enough to know better, and that I should love my sister for who she is, for that is the way God created her.

  My mother threw me in my bedroom and gave me a thick yellow book which looked to me like a photo album. What I saw in that book changed my life and my attitude about the way that I viewed my sister and other handicapped people like her.

  There were numerous baby pictures of my sister and I dressed alike, the only difference: Dawn was hooked up to tubes and needles and machines. She had her hands and fingers taped so that she would not compromise the patch on her eye from surgery. She looked like a mummy. I looked small and peaceful.

  There were also several pictures of the two of us in the hospital until we were three years old. Once again, Dawn was wrapped up in a glorified mummy outfit, with tubes and needles attached to her everywhere. If you looked closely, you could see the pain reflected in her eyes. The picture that stood out the most was a Polaroid snapshot of the two of us in the crib hugging each other. The caption below read, 'I am so happy to get a visit from my twin sister, Netti. The doctors make me cry. She makes me laugh.'

  I noticed one common factor in all of the pictures: even though she was in a great deal of pain, and suffering so much, this baby girl, who some would call a handicapped retard, smiled so big for the camera. I realized then what my mother was trying to show me. I felt ashamed at the way I treated her, and I cried myself to sleep.

  Later that evening, my sister crawled over and woke me up for dinner. I kissed her and hugged her and profusely apologized for my behavior. She looked at me with uncertainty in her eyes. I knew she did not know what I was talking about. But I knew, I knew.

  From that moment on, I was my sister's protector. No one was going to hurt her for any reason. If the children in the neighborhood did not want to play with us because of my sister, so be it. We would play with each other. We did not need them. We were inseparable.

  Now as I look back, I realize that I never once took my sister's feeling into considera-tion. I did not want to know my own sister's story of why. I was so caught up in my own selfishness that I never saw her pain. I never put myself in her shoes. I never had to struggle to do normal, everyday activities. I could run and jump all on my own, without crutches. I never knew how blessed I truly was, or how special Dawn is.

  I know that I made it worse for her, because she longed to be 'normal' like me. Strangers do not understand her because they do not know how to deal with her, nor do they have experience dealing with her, so they treat her indifferently. But I am her sister, her blood, and I should have been there for her straight from the beginning. I am her other half, just as she is my other half. When Dawn hurts, I hurt: that is the unbreakable bond Dawn and I share. After all, I AM DAWN'S TWIN SISTER, and she is my world.

  “I love you, my twin sister!”

  我是一位23岁的健康女孩,视力正常,听力正常,语言表达正常。而妹妹道恩出生时却没有这么幸运。妈妈生我们时还很年轻。由于早产,我们在育婴箱里待了三个星期。

  还在育婴箱里时,因医生给妹妹放了太多的氧气,后来被诊断为大脑麻痹症,也就是神经紊乱,这会使她的感知能力和脑部功能出现障碍。她做过几次眼科手术但都没成功,左眼视力完全丧失,右眼视力也只达到常人的68%.

  她大脑发育缓慢,左眼失明,右耳失聪也已确诊。她腿上不得不穿上笨重的梏具,她走路也必须拄着拐杖。她看上去像一个疼痛的拇指, 这个拇指连接在所有的装置上。因此她经常遭人注视和指指点点。

  作为双胞胎长大,我总觉得我的身份不是我自己的。我只想作多奈特,而不是什么道恩的胞姐。我们的家庭不大,可道恩却是我们家里唯一一个“与众不同”的孩子。由于妹妹的身体状况,我们没有任何朋友,我们俩就时常吵闹。我开始讨厌妹妹,为报复她智残身残,我就想尽办法地找她麻烦。

  我总感觉她像我眼中刺似的不舒服。一旦被人看见我和她在一起时,我就很尴尬,和别的孩子在一块的时候,我就会捉弄他。十二岁时,妈妈对我对待妹妹的态度非常生气。她本以为我大点会更懂事的,会更爱我妹妹的,因为,不管怎样,她也是上帝的孩子。

  妈妈很生气地把我关到了卧室,扔给我一本厚厚的书。那本书黄色的封皮,看上去就像一本相册似的。书的内容改变了我的生活,也改变了我对妹妹和其他残疾人的态度。

  里面有很多我和妹妹的合影。我穿的和她一样,而唯一的不同之处是:道恩身上连着管子、针头和其他装置。她的手和手指都用胶布粘牢,这样她就不会弄掉她手术时戴的眼罩。她看起来像一个木乃伊,而我看上去则显得娇小与宁静。

  家里也有几张我们三岁时在医院拍的照片。道恩再次裹上了像木乃伊似的装置,她身上到处插满了管子和针头。靠近点看,你会发现她的眼睛里都是疼痛的表情。最出色的一张照片是用宝丽来相机拍的一张快照,照片上我们俩躺在童床上。照片的说明文字是:“双胞胎姐姐奈特来看我,我很高兴。医生会让我哭,但她会让我笑。”

  我注意到所有的照片都有一个共同点,那就是:尽管她非常疼痛,遭受着那么大的折磨,可这个被许多人称为残疾傻瓜的小女孩,在面对镜头时,笑得还是那么灿烂。我才明白妈妈为什么要给我看那本书。对妹妹的态度,我感到很惭愧,哭着哭着就睡着了。

  晚上,妹妹爬过来,叫醒我去吃饭。我吻了她一下,抱着她,并对我的行径深表道歉,她用迷惑的眼神看着我。我知道她不会明白我所说的,但是,我明白,我明白。

  从此之后,我就是妹妹的保护者,没有人再敢伤害她。如果邻居家孩子不想和我妹妹玩,那只能这样了,我们俩就一起玩,不需要他们,我们是形影不离的好伙伴。

  现在回想起来,我明白到我再也没有机会考虑我妹妹的感情了。我并不想知道为什么我妹妹会有这样的故事(遭遇)。过去是那么的自私也没有顾及她的痛苦,我从来没有为她设身处地考虑一下,也没有尽力做每天应该做的职责。我自己不需要拐杖,能蹦能跳的,我不知道自己是如此的幸运,或者说,道恩又是这么特殊。

  我知道我把情况搞得更糟,因为她也想向我一样一切“正常”。陌生人是不会理解她的,因为他们不知道该如何与她打交道。但是,我是她姐姐,她的家人,头一开始,我就应该向着她。我是她的另一半,就像她是我的另一半,如果她受伤了,那我也受伤,这是道恩和我的坚固纽带。毕竟,我是道恩的双胞胎姐姐,可她是我的世界。

  “我爱你,我的双胞胎妹妹!”

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