#3 wanted to go see this movie, so I thought I’d humor her by going and seeing it today. I didn’t have any desire to see it at all, but she’d been wanting to go, and since she never wants to go to a movie at the theater, I thought we’d branch out and actually go see one for a change.
If you haven’t seen the movie and would like to, I suggest stop reading here, because you may not like the spoilers to come….
I didn’t want to see this movie for several reasons.
1) I hate to cry. It makes my head hurt and my migraines are bad enough without doing things to make them worse, which is also one of the many reason why I also don’t drink.
2) I hate movies where kids die. Okay, you were warned. Like you didn’t realize this was a movie about a kid who dies of cancer. Not only was this a movie about someone dying. But they also had to die of cancer. My dad died of cancer, so that made this movie doubly worse, though I was glad to see that #3 apparently wasn’t traumatized by dad’s death, because she did not remember Chemo, though she went with him every week, was with him when he got his port, and knew all the nurses by name. Thank God she was so young. I used to wonder if taking her was a good thing. Sure it was good for Dad, but how was it affecting her? Apparently it wasn’t, because she watched the movie and said she didn’t remember doing any of that.
3) And this probably should be number 1, but I wanted it to be last, so I could discuss it the most. I was my brother’s keeper.
No, I was not genetically engineered to heal my brother, nor did I actually have to have any medical procedures to save his life, but I would have if it had been humanly possible. If there’d been a procedure, or blood test, or surgery… You name it, I loved my brother with a fierceness that a sibling with healthy siblings will never understand. You see to understand the role of Anna in this film, you have to be your Siblings Keeper. From the very minute she walks into the lawyer’s office, sorry again, and want’s to sue her parents for medical rights to her body, I know without a doubt that something isn’t right here. I NEVER could have done that. If anything would have made life for my brother easier, better, safer, happier, even if had meant cutting off an arm, I would have done it. So I sat there thinking what is wrong here? Anna’s character just didn’t ring true to me. True, I’d never been poked and prodded, and made be a guinea pig for my brother, but I know what it’s like to send a sibling to the hospital and not know if they are coming home. I know the real gut wrenching fear of saying the words “If I don’t
do Xallow that procedure, he will die.” No, Anna’s character just didn’t ring true.
You see, if your siblings are healthy and normal, you probably are saying, she just had enough. She wanted her own body back. I am saying, that when you sibling is that profoundly sick, you are as crazed for them to be well, as the mother was in the movie. The mother is not the abnormal character in that family. She is the norm. Maybe she did take a few things to the extreme, but she’d been fighting a disease for 10 years. Try fighting it for 20, 30, 45-since the day you took your first breath. Try feeling normal for a few months, letting your guard down, learning to laugh again. And then one night being awoken to “his temp is up and he’s having grand mals, we are on our way to the hospital.” Yes, you learn to be a little crazed. In real life, Anna would have known that fear. It would have been near impossible for her to have made such a decision. To have walked into a lawyer’s office would have been even more impossible and to never have wavered even once on that decision, more impossible that being hit by lightening. No, something about her character just struck me as not right. I kept waiting for her to not want to discuss the decision in front of Kate, but she didn’t seem to mind if Kate knew she was being so cold blooded. Sure, she had a right to her own body and I totally agreed with her and the lawyer, the mom stepped way overboard years ago, but she never seemed to think of Kate or Kate’s feelings at all. It kept throwing me, because in this movie, I should have been Anna. I should have gotten her character, and I just couldn’t get her.
Do I wish I hadn’t gone? No, it was a good movie. It was very well written and well done. And superbly written.
If anyone was going to do the story of my brother’s life, I’d want Abigail Breslin to play me as a kid. She has spunk that one. I finally got that Anna loved Kate for real.
When it came out, finally, in the movie, sorry again, that Kate had asked Anna to let her die, I finally got why Anna had sued for medical rights to her body. By not agreeing to the surgery, Anna could stand up for Kate, when Kate wasn’t able to stand up for herself. And finally, Anna’s character made sense to me. For there you have it folks, the only reason I could have ever denied my brother anything he needed while he was here on this earth was if he had asked me to.
When we left the theater, most everyone was wiping tears. I kept thinking on what Anna said. I had a
sister brother, and she he was fantastic.