photo by Nell Mednick

About Survivor Mom

I am the surviving, 75 year-old mother of Peter Weisman who died of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 1980. I wrote a book called Intensive Care: A Family Love Story about the experience. The book is about how a family struggles and often thrives, even under the constant threat of death. This blog is my cyber-sequel. From a survivor's vantage point, I'm going to blog, in honest detail, about how life was then, and how it is now. Expect to feel better.

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Adam Beats Up His Younger Brother

Nov 02, 2012

We were all seated at the kitchen table. Adam must have been about seven years old, so Peter was five. The boys are 19 months apart. I can’t remember what it was that made Adam so angry, but he responded by pushing Peter out of his chair and onto the floor. While Pete fought to catch his breath, Adam was plaintively explaining, “He just fell over. He just fell over.” 

Still, as I picked Peter up off the floor, I found that the sorrow I was feeling was for Adam, the well child, who has to understand so much that is beyond understanding, and must now understand that he can’t push his annoying younger brother around any more, even if he deserves it.

“You just can’t do that, no matter how angry you feel,” said Larry, taking Adam in his arms. “No matter how much you want to hit Pete, you must not do it. Peter’s balance isn’t good, so he falls when you push him, and if he falls on a hard floor, he gets much too hurt. You’ll have to find some other way to be angry with him.”

And so Adam did.

Within minutes we heard Peter calling “Mommy! Mommy!” The cries were coming from our bedroom. We quit the table, ran down the hall, opened the door and saw Adam standing in the middle of the queen- sized bed. He was holding Peter by the front of his shirt, attempting to stand him up on his feet again, however briefly, so that he could push him down again. We watched as Peter lost his balance, fell backwards and landed softly and safely on target—a pile of soft pillows.

“Bombs away!” Adam proclaimed.