Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In sickness or in health

It was a terrified cry.
The same kind of cry that had pierced my dreams 26 hours earlier when Matthew vomited in bed while lying on his back. When I found him, it was obvious that Matthew had choked on his vomit and had coughed it out of his throat to get air.
So, despite the lack of sleep the night before, I flew out of bed and down the stairs.
What I saw made my heart melt.
Jonathan, who had bemoaned the temporary loss of his playmate all of the previous day, had crawled into Matthew's bed, snuggling up next to him and scaring him out of a deep sleep. I resettled them both and they quickly fell back asleep.
Some identical twins insist that they can feel each other's pain.
I met a man once whose identical brother lives in Cleveland, about five hours from his home in Cincinnati. One day, the man said, when he was in his 50s, he complained to his wife that his arm had been aching all day.
He couldn't figure out what he had done to it.
Later that evening, his sister-in-law called. The man's twin had just emerged from surgery in a Cleveland hospital. He had broken his arm earlier that day, the same arm that had caused the Cincinnati twin so much pain.
Even if is true, even if Jonathan has been feeling Matthew's misery throughout this illness that has lasted 48 hours so far and kept him from venturing more than two feet from the recliner, Matthew and Jonathan are too young to fully understand its meaning.
Yet, the depth of their empathy leaves me in awe.
Several times today, Jonathan stopped his play and climbed into the recliner beside his brother, an act that is usually met with kicking hitting and screaming on the occupant's part. But today, Matthew didn't fight it and Jonathan didn't try to kick him out.
They sat together for long period of time and watching Max and Ruby, Diego and Little Bear.
Just a few minutes ago, Matthew started to vomit again. I grabbed the bucket and Jonathan grabbed the other side. We held it together while Matthew heaved and heaved until he had nothing left.
Then I cleaned Matthew up and sat him in the recliner once again.
And Jonathan climbed in beside him.

All three of these photos were taken today. Matthew is on the right.


cat said...

Oh what a sweet post and cute photos. I hope he is much better by now.

Amanda said...

Isn't it amazing? I learn so much about love from my little guys.

arda said...

wow, what a wonderful anecdote.