by Nicole M.
( Michigan, U.S.)
"I feel extra alone," were the words spoken by my eight year old sister a few years ago. It broke my heart to hear those words coming from the one sister that I had left.
Alyssa Jade, who was born in 1997, was supposed to be a fraternal twin. Her sister, to be named, Alaina Jae never made it past the fetal stage of her development. While our mother was delivering the girls, she fell ill and consequently Alaina passed on. Our family made the agreement that no one would tell Alyssa that she was to be a twin, and therefore would prevent her from feelings of any loss.
Years passed, and in time so did much of the pain associated with it. Alyssa grew up unknowingly, or so we thought. She was always a little bit different than the average child. She would initiate strange conversations, and sometimes drift off into her own little world. She also seemed to be a rather sad little girl, but no one attributed her feelings to the death of her twin sister.
On Alyssa's eighth birthday, she came to me mid-celebration and said, "I feel extra alone". When I responded that there were many people here, and that alone was the last thing she should feel, she replied, "I just think a part of me is missing". I stuttered across a few more sentences, and brushed her off. What she said kind of scared me. I felt such mixed emotions, and I was barely able to hold it together for the rest of the celebration.
I brought my concerns to the family that night after she had went on to bed. The biggest shock of my lifetime came when my mother and father stared at each other in disbelief. When I questioned their stares, my father took me aside and explained that Alyssa's twin, Alaina Jae, had not passed away. Rather, she was adopted out due to the fact that she was born disabled. I fell apart. Not only had my thirteen year old mind been forced to grieve the loss of my sibling unnecessarily, my own parents had created and caused that hurt. Alyssa was made to believe that she was crazy, because of her abstract thoughts and feelings. The eight year old girl was right, there was a huge piece of her missing. The guilt and feelings of betrayal sank into the pit of my stomach as if I had told the horrific lie to her. After a few weeks, my parents took Alyssa to a therapist where they confessed their nasty secrets to her. Alyssa came home from that visit a different child. She was almost relieved and reassured of her feelings. It came across to me as a "Ha, I knew it!" type of situation. They set out on a mission to find her sister, probably due to their own guilt. Eventually they did find her, thankfully, in a loving sweet home. Alyssa and she met for the first time soon after, it may have been the first time Alyssa experienced true happiness. Still, until now, Alyssa visits with Alaina. I can not help but to feel that there is a strong connection between twins that is unimaginable to us "outsiders". I was very skeptical about some stories I had heard, but ever since then, I am a believer. I am so happy that my sister is finally complete, and I hope that other little girls like her will have the opportunity to have such a happy ending.