Last year, Chase’s mom, Ellie, wrote about the special relationship between Chase and his older brother, Aidan. Now she shares this sweet story of how these two boys touched by childhood cancer continue to support each other through life’s trials, big and small.
Chase (left) watches his big brother, Aidan, in the doctor’s office.
“OK, let’s just get your temperature and then you’ll be done.” The nurse turned from the blood pressure cuff attached to Aidan’s skinny arm and grabbed the thermometer, shoving it into a sanitary plastic sheath with a soft click.
“Open wide… under your tongue… now close.”
The room was still as Aidan sat tall, silent and brave (despite his strep throat) on the end of the exam table.
With an unusual calm, Chase pulled himself out of the chair against the wall where he’d been sitting next to me, and he went to stand closer to the table — in his older brother’s field of vision.
“I’m here, Aidy,” he said, using his pet name for his near-twin from the earliest days of learning speech. “I’m here if you need me. It isn’t scary, but if you get afraid, I’ll be right here.”
Nearly the identical words a 3-year-old Aidan had spoken countless times over a 2-year-old Chase during myriad blood draws and hard hospital days.
Aidan makes Chase laugh on a trip to the hospital.
“I’m here.” I choose to put myself next to you and try to understand.
Cancer starts as these tiny microscopic cells that go terribly wrong and it wrecks so much life. It makes me angry to consider its senselessness. But in this moment of family practice and strep throat and a check for vital signs, there was yet another glimpse of beauty in the devastation they’d caused.
The boys have been bent by it — we’ve all been bent by it — but in those times when it really counts, especially when it comes down to a doctor’s office, they bend toward each other. They reach with comfort and love for one another. And caring for each other has come from the long years of fear and pain.
I believe there will always be something good that comes of it all.
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