Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I should have. But I didn't.

Thank you for your blog post. Not only was it beautiful, and brave, and unique, but it got me thinking. That is what good writing does. It causes the reader to think. 
 (Read Mallory's post here!)

 I, too, am not proud of everything I have ever done in my life. I, too, have failed. This part of my life, is a part I don't share with most people. Mallory's post inspired me to share it. You see, my little brother Alex is Autistic. I know, I know. "Awh, he is so cute!", "You are so blessed to have him in your life!", "I wrote about Alex in my gratitude journal today Rachael!"
I know, guys. I know he is cute, I know he makes your day, I know he knows your name and gives you a high five in the hallways. I am proud of him for that too.  He is my little brother, I grew up watching cartoons with him on Saturday mornings in my parents bed, I am the one that gets to watch his face light up every Christmas eve as he waits for Santa even though he is sixteen years old. I love him. More than anything.
But, it's hard. You know?

I pulled my hair out of the tight knot it had dutifully carried all day and let it fall to my shoulders, the wind form the night dancing through the inevitable tangles. I allowed my voice to fill my lungs and join in the chorus with my friends; the familiar lyrics ran as liquid into my bloodstream, clearing out every ounce of stress and worry. It felt good to finally feel young. As we pulled up to my house, the laughter and booming music died, leaving behind an awkward silence as the red and blue of sirens filled the dark night, illuminating before my home. The car filled with a chorus of hushed whispers, of arms held tightly around my own. But I was numb. I stumbled out of the car door, and vaguely remember telling the girls everything was all right, I would call them later. I wouldn't, though. The worst part of it was; it would be all right. The worst part of it was; I knew that nobody in my family had died in a freak car accident; I knew exactly why the policeman were here. I knew I would walk into that door and find my Mom crying, I would watch the man kneel down next to him and try to explain why he needs to "keep his hands to himself, otherwise he would be "in trouble." I knew tomorrow it would all be the same, tomorrow my Mom would bundle up in a winter coat just to escape the bruises that would line her arms from him, from his anxiety. In that moment, with the ghost of the music ringing through my ears and the glow of the lights blinding my eyes; I hated him. No, I hated his handicap, but most of all I hated the way it had altered my life.
I often look back on nights like this with feelings of guilt, wishing I had said more, been more, done more to support my family rather than quietly slipping to my room, shutting the world out. I should have been strong. But I didn't feel strong. I should have been in the kitchen, acted as the oldest girl, rinsed out bowels of fruity pebbles, scrubbed the kitchen floor. But I was too tired. I should of told her it way okay she forgot to pick me up from school, again. But my pride defined me. I should have let her hug me. But she never remembered I have never felt comfort from touch. I should have let that hug comfort her.
I should have.
I should have.
I should have.
I should have.
I should have. 
I should have. 
I should have. 
But I didn't.

"I am proud of me" too, Mallory.
"Because I have done some difficult things."

And sometimes, you really should have. And you really didn't.
And sometimes, it's really okay. 

You know? 

--Rachael Cherish
p.s. I still love you


  1. that was beautiful rachael. thanks for being so honest.

  2. Rach. That was stunning. Thank you for it.
    Would you be so kind as to email me your mailing address? I would like to send you a letter.

    You're beautiful. I hope you know it.


  3. this is perfect. you are wonderful. thank you for writing and inspiring