An Open Letter to my Sister

By Ruth Chung




My mother had been pregnant for what felt like forever (me being five years old) and finally, we got news that she was having the baby.  I remember just an hour or two before, as us four kids were waiting in her hospital room, and she was tired, but as we came in she sat up and opened her eyes and did her best to appear strong for all of us kids.  I remember walking in, silently a little bit jealous of her hospital gown (I thought it was really pretty, and then made it one of my life goals, at five years old, to wear something as beautiful one day.)  The second thing I noticed, after her hospital gown, was a tray of food by the foot of her bed.  It had a few empty bowls and a half empty (or half-filled) cup, but the main thing that caught my eye was a small plate in the corner of the tray.  It had a nice piece of cheesecake on it.  Excited, I jumped up and said, “Mom, can I have that piece of cheesecake?”  Expecting her to say no, I just turned around to play with my siblings in the corner, but upon hearing the surprised “Sure,” I whizzed back around and grabbed the plate and an extra fork.  When my siblings saw the piece of cheesecake that I had, they started trying to nip off of it, and my younger sister even asked my mom to make me share.  But my mom only said, “No, Ruth got it first. The piece is too small to share.”  I remember feeling so selfishly happy in that moment that I was the only one who was allowed to eat the cheesecake.  I ate really slowly, cherishing every bite. Later that night, my sister was born.  I remember thinking she was really fat and ugly and I didn’t understand how a human being could come out of such a creature.  Yet somehow, my five-year-old heart was still capable of loving, as I loved every inch of the mysterious monster, regardless of how amazingly inhuman it seemed to me at the time. 


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