Family ties

by bkajlich

I am having a little trouble writing tonight.  It has been an emotionally draining day.  It’s very hard to sit and listen to people recount the amazing stories of a life lived to the fullest, and yet cut so unfairly short.  I thought about how this moment exists somewhere for all of us. The day when our nearest and dearest gather together to share memories and celebrate the journey that was our life.  I looked to my right and my heart swelled  at the sight of my dear brother sitting next to me.  He came to support me, to be my shoulder to lean on.  It’s not the easiest of tasks for him, hours of walking and standing and sitting.  You see, my brother is a bilateral, above the knee amputee.  Six years ago, while studying in Prague, he was hit by a subway train and lost both his legs.  We very nearly lost him.  Doctors amputated his right leg at mid-thigh, and completely removed his left one. Because of this configuration, they told him that he would never walk, and any prosthetics would be used mainly to transfer himself in and out of his wheelchair.  He told them he had other plans.  Today he walks with only the support of a cane.  He is an exceptional human being, brother, and son.

During my sit this evening, I kept finding myself lost in thought about my family.  I kept thinking about what a source of support we are for each other.  That in a given moment I could count on any of these four people(well five now with the introduction of my sister in law) to be my rock.  Our loyalty to each other runs deep, and when the going gets tough, well, the Kajlich clan just gets tougher.

My family arrived in Prague several days after my brothers accident.  I will never forget the long walk down the hospital corridor to see him in the ICU. He was in a medically induced coma to help his body cope with its horrific injuries.  As we suited up in scrubs and shakily prepared ourselves for what we were about to see, my mother turned to the group.  “Now listen up.” she started sternly, “this is our brother and our son, and he needs us right now.  We’re gonna go in there and put on our brave faces, and speak to him with loving, positive words. We are gonna make it through this together, because that’s what families do.”  And with that, she turned and marched into the ICU.  My dad turned to us with a slight grin on his face and beamed, “And that’s why I married her!”.  I was so proud of my family in that moment.  I was a part of something bigger than me, and I knew that no matter what, we were going to be okay.  And you know what?  We were.

I am grateful to have a family that laughs as much as they love. I am lucky to genuinely like all of them(most of the time). And I am humbled and honored by the fact that we all stick together when everything falls apart.  I love you guys.  xx