Five. On Monday.
"WOW! He would be in kindergarten. I could be his big buddy!"
I thought about this. The wheelchair that would have been, the special bus, the special school, the special class that there would have been. The children 'like' him; the ones who could perhaps speak volumes with their eyes but could not wrap their little arms around you to hug you. The ones who instilled fear into every typical parent by merely drooling.
But instead, I answered enthusiastically, "Yes! Yes, honey, you would be the best big buddy ever!"
And of course, thinking of her friends who are in the kindergarten room next door to her who may be only five but are quite reasonable, she said, "I wish Elijah was alive. I like Bubbles, but he pulls my hair and he stinks."
(for the record, I would like to point out that 'stinks' is a relative term in a six year old's vocabulary, and does not in any way, reflect the actual attention given to said brother's stinky rotten diapers)
The special feeding chair, the on-order foam floor-sitter, the more than likely lifetime of diapers, the OT, the PT, the ECI, the many many doctor appointments, the special attention that he required....
She remembers none of that.
Only the fact that he was her brother and she loved him.
We all miss him.