Thoughts on My Sister’s Keeper

I had the distinct privilege of being asked by my daughter to go to a movie with her. I had seen a review of the movie and knew it didn’t get a great review. But I did not want to miss this opportunity to spend time with Valerie.

Shortly into the movie, I could tell Val was disgusted with the screen adaptation. Although I had read the book, I did not remember the story in the detail that Valerie did.

I don’t usually cry at movies anymore, but this one really got me. Not because of the movie itself, but because the mother of the family put one child ahead of everything else in the world — her job, her husband and marriage, and her other children. Everything else was secondary to the needs of the one child. What got this mother’s heart was that I think I do that same thing to a certain extent with my sweet little Kepler. I know that my other kids have had to forego certain things and time with me and/or Greg because of the needs of Kepler.

He’s not sick, of course. But ever since he was born, I know I have put the other kids second to him many, many times. Perhaps that is somewhat natural, to spend more time with a younger, needier child, but I have sensed, with some actual evidence, that my older kids do feel like I put Kepler first too much of the time.

What breaks my heart is that I know all five of them have needs and I love them all so much. And sometimes it is just so hard to figure out how to show them all that I love them.

A broken heart doesn’t mean that all is lost. There is probably room for me to change, and room for the kids to change, and room for Greg to change. I mean, I do believe that Kepler is a gift to us. It’s just hard to have one child who has such obvious needs that seem greater than the needs of another. And yet, to that other child, I’m sure it’s a mystery why Kepler’s needs always take precedence.

I don’t have this all tied up with a nice little bow right now. I feel raw and the only “summary” I can come up with is that I am glad that I saw this movie and I want to know how to love my kids, each of them, the way they need to be loved.

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