Last night I watched the movie ‘My Sisters Keeper’ and it really made me think (as I am sure is the case with most people that watch it). The plot is about a girl that has cancer, and her parents engineer a child that will meet her genes and therefore can give blood and kidneys and whatever the daughter with cancer needs; there is also an older brother mixed in.
There is a point in the movie where we get to hear what the child with cancer is thinking. She is telling her brother that she is sorry for needing so much attention. She is sorry that because her family is so concentrated on making sure she doesn’t die, they didn’t realize he was dyslexic; causing him to be sent away for a year so he could get help.
She tells the father that she is sorry for taking away the love of his life. That since his wife (her mom) is always concerned about making sure she lives. She gave up her job; she gave up her life to make sure this child did not die.
She tells the engineered child sorry as well. And thanks her for everything she has given up. She tells her she is sorry for needing so much.
She tells the mother how thankful she is and how it is time to let go. Because the disease will not only kill her, but it will kill the family.
It made me so sad, I sat there in my friends living room and tried my hardest not to cry (a few tears fell though). I felt so sorry for all of these kids. For the mother and father.
The mother was trying her hardest to save this child, but lost sight of her other children. They all know their mother loves them, but it was just so sad. The dad sat back and watched, because he loves the mother so much, he is willing to do anything to make her happy. But she was so focused on this child; she lost sight of everything else.
I understand where the mother was coming from, and why she was acting this way. I would probably act the same way. But at the same time, I hope watching this movie taught me that if I have children, and one of them gets sick, I must not forget about my other children. All of them need attention and must feel wanted.
The engineered child is a completely different story. The movie did not really dig into how she felt about being born simply to give to her sister. And how the giving started at birth. She had procedures when she was 5, hospitalized when she was six due to complications, more procedures when she was 11. I just, I don’t know how I would feel if I knew I was born simply to give everything to my sister. It is an honor to be able to save someone in such a big way, but it is also scary. I would always wonder to myself if my parents would still love me the same if I was not a match for my sister, if they would try again, and push me aside like they did the older brother.
There would be so much running through my mind. So many questions, so many what ifs. It would drive me crazy.
And this movie makes me wonder if I would ever do the same thing. If a child is sick, would I engineer another kid to make sure she matched her sister? I don’t know. I suppose no one really knows until they are put in that position.