Last night I watched, "My Sister's Keeper." Please note, I WILL spoil the movie in this entry, so if you haven't seen it and want to, stop reading now. Also, if you have/had a sister with cancer, don't watch this movie. You'll bawl your eyes out.
You may wonder, as my husband did, why in the world I would watch such a movie, given my own cancer experience. It's wierd, but in a way I'm drawn to such things. I read in an article a while back that people who have experienced trauma like to watch it on the screen because unlike in real life, they can manage the fear and pain; they are in control. Perhaps that's it? Regardless, I needed a good cry, so I watched it.
The premise of the movie is simple. The oldest child (Kate) is diagnosed with leukemia around age 4. Neither parent nor her younger brother is a match for the many donations she'll need to stay alive, so they genetically engineer a 3rd child to be a doner for her sister. The youngest then sues for the right to control her own body and the drama unfolds.
I didn't relate to much of the cancer experience as it was portrayed in the movie (aside from the... never mind, t.m.i.) But there was one thing that struck me and made the tears flow. It was Kate's scrapbook. She made a page for each person in her family and on each page, she told them that she was sorry. She was sorry that her mother gave up everything to fight a battle that she couldn't win. She was sorry that her dad lost his first love. She was sorry that she took the attention away from her brother when he needed help with his dislexia. She was sorry for allowing her sister to be hurt from all of the donations.
I think this is what most cancer patients would like to say to their family and friends. But most of the time, we aren't allowed. We aren't "allowed" to be sorry for the inconveniences or the heartache. We have "every right" to get the attention that we are getting. Maybe that's true and maybe it isn't, but there is something healing in being allowed to say you are sorry. So...
I'm sorry for the worry I caused you.
I'm sorry for making your problems seem unimportant.
I'm sorry you had to take care of me.
I'm sorry I couldn't love you like I should have.