This I Believe
It was late at night on July 14, 2004, when my aunt received the call from the hospital. The shrill ring of the phone woke us all with a start. My aunt dashed to the phone and yanked it off its base. Sleepy and groggy, yet still interested, my cousins and I watched her anxiously as her face changed into different emotions as she listened to what the speaker was saying. Finally, her face froze into one expression, telling us exactly what we wanted to know.
My aunt raced us to the hospital, flying through the few cars that were still driving even at this late hour while my cousins and I chatted excitedly in the back. We didn’t know what to expect when we would poke our heads into the nursery and take a sneak at my first new baby brother.
As the car jerked to a stop, I leaped out of the car with a newfound energy usually nonexistent around this time. I raced ahead of the rest of the group, too excited to be held behind because of their sluggishness. Skidding to a stop at the front desk of the hospital, I signed in and inquired on my mother’s room. The whole crowd of my family and I squeezed into an elevator and jabbed at the second floor button.
Finally, the elevator doors slid open. Galloping down the hall, my eyes scanned for Room #213. I reached it first and barged right in, not bothering to knock.
I didn’t know what I was expecting to see. Maybe my mother, lying on her bed, looking exhausted while cradling her second child. Maybe a nurse holding the baby while my mother gazed at her in wonder. I even imagined my father and mother, standing close together, staring at the wonderful creature in their arms.
But I instead I saw an empty bed, a window area covered in flowers, and my father, snoring softly on a small chair in the corner of the room.
My first thought was that something had happened to the baby, or worse, my mom. But just then, I heard a door open behind me.
I turned on my heel to see my mother standing in the doorway of the bathroom, looking utterly exhausted, yet radiant. We hugged tightly for a few long seconds, when I asked her where my brother was. I learnt he was in the nursery, with the other newborns, but the nurse would return with him soon. I waited impatiently for a while until the nurse entered the room, carrying my little brother.
He was so tiny, so innocent, so fragile. He waved his tiny little fists around with his eyes closed until it smacked my finger. He left his hand there, until he finally opened his fist and grabbed my finger with such a strength I would not have expected from a newborn. That’s when I was hit a type of epiphany.
I believe that people do not come as good or bad, young or old, nor weak or strong. They come in the form of happiness, serenity, and pureness. To me, this baby represented the heart of a person, its ability to be tainted by even the slightest defection, how it has only the natural flaws of a human being, yet it is still strong in its ability to hold on to things, just like a normal human. My baby brother was my heart to me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.