After four days in the hospital we brought Andrea home. She was an unusually quiet and calm child. She rarely screamed – and even then her screams sounded more like a goatish laughter.
Virginia loved our daughter with all her heart. She wanted to spend every waking minute holding and cuddling the little girl. And Andrea enjoyed cuddling her too. She was never happier than when she was gently held in Virginia’s arms.
We had her for four months. I really think we are good parents. I really think we did the right things and we loved our daughter. We knew her. We knew every detail of her body. She had a nearly triangular birthmark just to the right of her spine.
I remember it was a Tuesday morning. Virginia changed Andrea’s diaper. I heard Andrea’s screams in the next room and I already thought that she must be sick or that otherwise something must be wrong.
When the two came back to the living room Andrea was clinging to Virginia’s.I could see that Virginia was uncomfortable. Continue reading →
When the light disappeared from behind the curtains it didn’t matter whether our parents were next door or not, it was only Ranyo that made me feel safe. He hugged me goodnight and afterwards he lay on the top bunk with his head dangling down the side of the bed. Every night he watched over me until I fell asleep and only then my brother went to sleep himself.
I don’t have many memories from my early childhood – I mean the ages 3 to 6 – but most of them are memories of Ranyo. He showed me how to make paper airplanes, he taught me to count from one to ten, and he was the one that told me about the treasure chests filled with toys in our garage.
I could not have imagined a better brother than Ranyo. He shared everything with me, even the secrets that I was not supposed to know. Once he showed me how to open the gummi bear drawer and afterwards we sat on the top bunk and ate little cola bottles and sweet green and red cherries until I felt sick.
Ranyo went to a different school than I did. He had to leave earlier than me and so I rarely saw him in the morning. But in turn he also finished earlier and nearly every day he stood on our front porch when mom and I arrived home. Only when it rained he hid inside the house, usually on his bunk with a teddy bear or two in his arms. Continue reading →