"In the English language there are orphans and widows, but there is no word for the parents who loses a child."
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?
Here is an excerpt from the book:
When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. The mechanics I understood – my older
brother Jesse had filled me in — although at the time I was sure he'd heard half of it wrong. Other kids my age were busy looking up the words penis and vagina in the classroom dictionary when the teacher had her back turned, but I paid attention to different details. Like why some mothers only had one child, while others seemed to multiply before your eyes. Or how the new girl in school, Sedona, told anyone who'd listen that she was named for the place where her parents were vacationing when they made her ("Good thing they weren't staying in Jersey City,"my father used to say).
Now that I am thirteen, these distinctions are only more complicated: the eighth grader who dropped out of school because she got into trouble; a neighbor who got herself pregnant in the hopes it would keep her husband from filing for divorce. I'm telling you, if aliens landed on earth today and took a good hard look at why babies get born, they'd conclude that most people have children by
accident, or because they drink too much on a certain night, or because birth control isn't 100%, or for a thousand other
reasons that really aren't very flattering.
On the other hand, I was born for a very specific purpose. I wasn't the result of a cheap bottle of wine or a full moon or the heat of the moment. I was born because a scientist managed to hook up my mother's eggs and my father's sperm and come up with a specific combination of precious genetic material. In fact, when Jesse told me how babies get made and I, the great disbeliever, decided to ask
my parents the truth; I got more than I bargained for. They sat me down and told me all the usual stuff, of course — but they also explained that they chose little embryonic me, specifically, because I could save my sister Kate. "We loved you even more,"my mother made sure to say,"because we knew what exactly we were getting."
It made me wonder, though, what would have happened if Kate been healthy. Chances are, I'd still be floating up in Heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body to spend some time on Earth. Certainly I would not be part of this family. See, unlike the rest of the free world, I didn't get here by accident. And if your parents have you for a reason, then that reason better exist. Because once it's gone, so are you.
I have yet to read the book. The excerpt convinced me to buy it though. I heard that it has a different ending. Will update you guys once I am done reading.
With regard to the movie, I saw it last night with Chocoboy and I cried buckets of tears. Chocoboy, even if he won't admit it, also cried.
I have seen a lot of movies that tackle families and the situations that bind them. I have to say, this is one of the best. As a parent, I was able to relate to Cameron Diaz's character (the mom). She will do anything to make her child live. Unwilling to let her child go. Anyway, I don't want to start crying while writing, so here are some of the best quotes from the movie:
“When I first became a parent I used to lie in bed at night and imagine the most horrible succession of maladies: the bite of a jellyfish, the taste of a poisonous berry, the smile of a dangerous stranger, the dive into a shallow pool. There are so many ways that a child can be harmed that it seems nearly impossible that one person alone could succeed at keeping him safe. As my children got older, the hazards only changed: inhaling glue, playing with matches, small pink pills sold behind the bleachers of the middle school. You can stay up all night and still not count the ways to lose the people you love.”
“But kids don’t stay where they are supposed to. You turn around and find her not in the bedroom but hiding in a closet; you turn around and see she’s not three but thirteen. Parenting is really just a matter of tracking, of hoping your kids do not get so far ahead you can no longer see their next move.”
“My mother moves so fast I do not even see it coming. But she slaps my face hard enough to make my head snap backward. She leaves a print that stains me long after it has faded. Just so you know: shame is five-fingered.”
"There are stars in the night sky that look brighter than the others, and when you look at them through a telescope you realize you are looking at twins. Thw two stars rotate around each other, sometimes taking nearly a hundred years to do it. They create so much gravitational pull there's no room around for anything else. You might see a blue star, for example, and realize only later that it has a white dwarf as a companion- that first one shines so bright, by the time you notice the second one, it's too late."
“Mom, do you remember when I took that trip to camp and I was so afraid to leave you? You told me to take a seat on the left side so that I could look back and see you. Do you remember?…………. Now it’s your seat.”