Sunday, January 29, 2017
Ian's essay..."Living in Rowan's shadow...coming into the light".
Ian is the best big brother any family could ever ask for. He has never complained, never been bitter, never ever felt sorry for himself...even as he lived in Rowan's (and often Zoe's) shadow for ten years. Instead, Ian loved, supported, and cheered us all on, comforted us when we needed it, kept his nose to the grindstone, excelled in school, etc. If you really think about it...Ian has been the "unsung hero" of the family...never demanding attention, actually, always shying away from it. He loves without boundaries, and without request for anything back in return. To Rowan, Ian hung the moon...to the rest of us, Ian has held us all up, and kept us together. He is our glue. A quiet, shy, behind the scenes kind of glue...but our glue.
Ian is applying for a very prestigious leadership academy this Summer. He had two essays to write for his application to this program. Tonight he brought me a jump drive with his second essay on it. This is completely unedited, unassisted, unbridled...this is how Ian feels. It brought me to tears and to my knees simultaneously. I am so proud of this boy...not just for his writing, but for the man he has become, despite the boyhood he lost out on. I love you Ian. And yes, I know that none of us would change any of it for the world...but I am still so very proud of you!
"For most my life, I have molded my schedule and spare time around that of others, namely my little brother, Rowan. I guess you could say I took the whole “middle child syndrome” to heart, which wasn’t too hard to do when I could walk into our local hospital and be passed by six nurses on my way to the second floor, each asking if I was “Rowan’s brother.” He was a fiery personality that brightened the lives of everyone who had the chance to meet him. He was the sun that my world revolved around. He was only ten. For much of this last year, he and my mother spent their days in a hospital room in Seattle. He was enduring an experimental form of bone marrow transplant, and she was comforting and watching over him. Come December “last year” took on a new, more horrifying meaning for the all-too-young boy. He passed on the fifteenth of December, 2016; on my older sister’s birthday; five days before my own. It was… is tough, to say the least, but from the moment we landed in that Seattle airport that night, the night he died, I vowed that I wouldn’t let this change consume me. I am still going to dedicate every day to him, but I’m not going to let sadness overcome me. I’ve been learning, slowly, how to live my own life; how to become my own protagonist. I’ve been drawing, painting, learning to animate; all things that I have wanted to do more of and improve at, but never could when I was living as a supporting character in another story. From his passing, if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that I can help and support others’ lives without forfeiting my own." ~ Ian Windham