Confession of a Sister’s Keepers

This story was first written by Opie, 

This story might not be able to interest you, but it is a story that I haven’t been able to tell most people. These are my true feelings. So hear me out, will you?

My life wouldn’t be complete without her. It is true that she’s a bit different, but that all the more makes her special. I couldn’t imagine how I would turn out to be if she didn’t exist. Unknowingly she has taught me a lot of things about life. She’s a childhood friend, a sister and my most unforgettable person.

Amira Syazwani, currently aged 26 years old, grew up unlike other normal children. Even though physically she is about the same as any normal lady her age, mentally she isn’t. She was born as a healthy baby. No one, not even her own parents could have guessed that she would grow up as a mentally challenged child. Only at the age of 2 months, she was diagnosed as having epilepsy, a brain disorder caused by the abnormal pattern of neuronal activity. Knowing this, our parents were of course worried. A lot of questions must have lingered in their minds-were they able to raise the poor little child? What are the chances that she will survive in this demanding world? Will she ever recover?

Nonetheless, they managed to do a great job. Even though Wani’s mental development was slower than other children, they loved her sincerely. Our mother was the happiest person on earth when Wani learnt to talk at the late-age of 7. Eventually she learnt the alphabet; she knew how to spell and write; she could even add and subtract numbers. However, her learning progress stops right there. She couldn’t understand more than that. To put it simply, even though her body keeps growing, her brain would only be able to interpret information like that of a 5 year-old child.

Although Wani has an older sister by one year, she was dreadfully left behind. Kak Long was a bright student and she grew up properly. Later on even Wani’s little brother and sister outgrew her. I was born only 9 years afterwards and I am the last child in the family. I guess this means that I am the last one to leave her behind. Now, don’t get me wrong here. It’s not that we isolate her or put her aside. What I meant was my other siblings and I left childhood a long time ago, but Wani? I believe she will remain being a child for the rest of her life.

My childhood was painted with sweet memories because of her. She was a loyal buddy who took care of me and stood by me whenever I needed her. I still remember the times when I was too afraid of going anywhere alone after watching a scary movie on TV; the person who would accompany me would surely be her. We played a lot of silly games too and our favourite was Hide-an-Seek. Even now I still think it’s weird that we used to hide at the same spot every time we play but still find joy out of it. I think the main reason as to why I’m really close to Wani when I was a kid is the age gap between me and my older siblings. Well, they sort of grew up faster- leaving me with no one to play with except Wani.

Not every day is a happy day. There comes a time when the whole family turns upside down just because a certain member started throwing a tantrum. That’s right, when something doesn’t go her way she’ll be a little annoying. For instance, every single time we go to a book store she’ll ask for something-a pen, a workbook, colour pencils, anything that interests her at the moment. It isn’t a problem if she wants one thing at a time but that rarely happens. And when she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll forget to behave well; just like a child.

I have to admit, there are a few horrifying memories concerning Wani that are bound to give me nightmares whenever I recall them. Most of them are incidents during her period of unconsciousness. It is fairly normal for a person suffering from epilepsy to have repeated seizures and Wani is not an exception.  Two years ago, a black event occurred right in front of my bedroom. If I remember it correctly, my family members were up early that day because we were getting ready for a long journey to Kelantan. It was Subuh, and usually Wani would still be in bed but that day she got a bit excited and got up earlier. No one could foresee it. Just while everyone was busy, a sudden loud bang was heard. It sounded as if a bowling ball fell on the hard floor. In a flash, everyone came rushing to where she was and right in front of my bedroom door, we saw a pool of blood. My mom grabbed Wani and held her; she was still having a seizure and blood still came out from her head. I on the other hand was still in the state of shock. I’ve never seen so much blood and I didn’t know what to do. Only later I was told to fetch a towel and clean up all the mess. Judging from the heap of blood I wiped up, Wani must have hit her head pretty hard that morning.

To me the most difficult part of being Wani’s sister is the fact that I’m always worried about her. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way; my other siblings must understand very well how I feel. Probably it’s a sense of responsibility. Up until now, I’ve never actually left home for more than a month. I remember how desperately I wanted to go to a boarding school right after PMR. But in the end I didn’t get into one. Sure, I was quite disappointed at first but I knew there had to be a reason behind it. Come to think of it, now I’m really glad I didn’t go to boarding school because I simply can’t imagine having to leave Wani. At least for now, I’d rather wake up to her morning seizures than being separated from her.

Things won’t last forever; that I am aware of. I know that one day I will have to leave for college and like it or not, I’ll have to leave home. I can’t be by her side forever but at least I want to be there when she needs me. Whenever I think of the future, I’ll wonder where Wani will be; whether she is well taken care of or not. Maybe it’s too early for me to think about these things, but this is exactly how I feel. I’m afraid and worried of what is waiting ahead of us. If I could, I’d like to stop time so that things will stay exactly as they are now. But all I could do now is pray to Allah so that we’ll face the hardships foreseeing us with a strong heart.

Despite being disabled, Wani is very special. She completes our family and has brought laughter around the house. Her presence in my life has taught me to be grateful to Allah for what I have. Everyone isn’t perfect but nevertheless we have our own strength. And whenever we feel like we lack something, we should remember that there are other people who are even more unfortunate. We shouldn’t look down on the disabled because it may seem as if they need our help, but the real fact is we need theirs. Children born with special needs are promised paradise. Therefore my dear sister Wani is definitely the most valuable gift from Allah and I am very thankful to be her little sister. Alhamdulillah.


……..then continued by Along :

This may not be of interest to you, but then again, it is a true life we can share. So, keep on reading in the sake of sharing stories and knowing.

I may not be a good writer as my little sister is, but I feel that I should continue her story with mine.

Our life would not be complete without her. We would not be the same family.We would not have the same stories to go through together, we would not have the same feel of life. I am sure each one of us in the family has very much the same feeling for her. As she is a part of everyone in our family. She is dependent on us and each of us has the feel of responsibility for her. That’s why she is special.

Wani, the second child of our family yet is treated as the youngest one.  Always. Even now that she is almost 26 years old. I would have imagined my life would be so much different having a sister so close of age with me. We would probably spend so much time together growing up, going to school together, going through teenage life together and probably even planned a wedding together. But we did not. As she never grew out mentally. She remains at about age 5 mentally yet looking like a grown lady. She kept her playful childlike mind playing with other younger sibling of mine until they too, outgrown her.But she is always there, though we don’t play together as much as we did when we were both toddlers, she is always there trying to keep up. Trying to do what others do. She sometimes pray, she wears dresses as if she is going to work and she act as others mimicking in the way she could.

I too never was away from home for long. I even go to a university so close to home. I often sent her to school before I go to my classes.She was in a special class at the normal school in Taman Universiti. Before leaving the car I would often remind her to behave at school and she would nod and be running to class so excitedly. The thought of her being at that time a 17 years old is not at all in mind.

I love the fact that we still can share a lot of time together since I don’t have to be far away form home.

She also loves to help me when I do things at home. Like sewing. But now, I am far, far away from home….

Yesterday as I was trimming the threads from the over-lock stitches of a “Baju Kurung” I was going to make for one of my friend, I could not stop thinking about her. Then I cut the neck part. Oh, that reminded me of her so much. Today as I was reading my sister’s note, I was crying. Thinking about how I had just thought about her and was going to post something on my wall today about missing her especially when I sew. I used to sew hundreds of clothes especially for Raya, and she is the most loyal friend that could be there beside me watching me sew. I would let her help cutting the threads, folding and she always take the neck hole part for her own project. We taught her how to sew little scrunchies out of this scrap piece. And she as always, obsessed about it. So whenever I cut out this neck piece, she’ll be sure to grab it and put it in her stacks of round scraps. She has lots of this done, and we sew it up into rugs. She is often proud of it. She also love to do cross-stich. We taught her years ago. But that need a little more attention and we often gave up because she got too obsessed with it.

She often got to obsessed with things, bringing the things she love everywhere even on the bed. She often got carried away and might start to take other people stuff too. But we often tell her off, and we believe that she should be taught and often has to be reminded. She is as obedient as can be on some days yet so naughty on her bad days. Just like a little child. But we are often so grateful that she could manage a lot of things by herself, and we don’t feel a burden having her at all. I was never shameful to bring her out with me, never shameful to be with her at all. And I believe all of us in the family has the same feel too.

InsyaAllah she will always be taken care of. Allah has sent her to us, to remind us of being patient, to remind us of being tolerable, to remind us that love is unlimited and for us to cherish our family even more.

Alhamdulillah, Thank you Allah for sharing her with us.

…… Ikah :

Neither of us did really told anyone into detailed the story about her. Not because we’re embarrassed, not because we’re hiding the truth but simply because no one could understand the feeling of living under the same roof as her. It’s not something bad, it’s just something you can’t share with other people. You don’t simply go to people and start telling them stories they can’t relate to. It’s like asking them hear to your favourite song. If they don’t understand the whole song, they won’t interpret it as you do. I figure that’s how i feel when telling them about Wani. All they’ll ever get to see is that she’s disabled. No matter what ever i tell them, that’s what she’ll ever be to other people.

I am never that close to her. I don’t spend time with her as much as my Kak long and Adik do. I can’t recall any special moments with her to be honest. I know, how can i not be spending time with her? Well, first of all because I’m barely at home. I spent 5 dreaded years living in hostel. Half a year after that i went away again. When i was a kid, well, i just didn’t spent as much time as Adik did. i can’t put a finger on why. Maybe because at that time Adik was still a kid and she kinda blended well with Wani.

There were so many things that Wani did that seemed unimportant at the time of scene, but when remembered, it’s a whole lot more than you think. Just like each time when i got back home on the weekends, she’d be the one celebrating me coming home. She’d be rushing towards the door and waiting for me to salam her. And the moment i step into the house, she’d be talking all about her stuffs and the stuffs going on in the house. At that time, it was kinda annoying. But seriously, when recalling, those are the things that i liked most. It really felt like coming home. Wani was home. 🙂 She was warm and full of love. At least there was someone who actually anticipated my return home. She made me feel like i was missed.

And then there were times when you think that you’re not loved, there she is doing things you know that only people who loves you would do. 🙂 There was one time, it was my birthday and I was at school. I hated it. But then my mom came visited me and Wani came along. She was so excited to meet me because she said she wanted to give me something. So when she came, she handed me and envelope she made herself; it was still wet from glue. Then she said she couldn’t buy me anything so she gave me what she had but she told to open it later. Later that day, i opened it and there was a letter and 3 Ringgit. :’) I cried on the spot. There was a little note inside it too. She said happy birthday and wrote good luck. 🙂 She’s always saying goodluck and reminding me to study. She’s always there to make you feel loved. To make me feel loved. I never thought of it that way on that day, but when it became memories, i knew how much it meant to have Wani there to always love me.

I won’t deny that there will be days when she ticks me off. And believe me, sometimes you just feel like screaming your lungs out. But what more can you do? She barely understands her situation let alone understand a complicated one. We always take her figure for as how she should act. We always forget the ‘real’ her. It’s hard trying to handle her and yourself at the same time. If she was a child, you’d pinch her or scream at her and she’d settle down herself. But we can’t do that to Wani. She’s not literally a child. Trying to soothe her and trying to remain calm is hard. As little as we know, being with her actually thought us to be a little bit more patient. If it’s not much, a little is true.

Every one of us made some sacrifices. And I’m not saying this as a burden, but as a sign of responsibilities and love. One does not sacrifice just because they had to. One decides to sacrifice because one knows it’s worth it. 🙂

I don’t have much to say about Wani as i’m not good with words. But for sure there’s so much more to Wani than just a family member. She’s the shining ruby among us. She’s the one that completes the Ameruddins. 🙂 And I know that when there’s Wani, that is home. Not because she’s always at home, but because she’s always so warm and reliable and loving. Because i know that she’ll be there if we need her. I wouldn’t trade her for anything because she made US become who we are today. She’s a part of who we are today. And i don’t wanna lose any part of that.

I thank Allah for giving us Wani and each day i pray to Allah to ease her life living on this Earth. 🙂 May she be the angel on Earth and in the world Hereafter later.


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