A Kind Sun

When my little brother was about two, he started drawing with crayons like any other child at that age. What was particular about his drawings, though, was that he always drew the same thing – a round face with many lines sticking out of it. It didn’t look like a human face. When we asked him what it was that he drew, he would always reply

“A Kind Sun.”

One day, my brother and I were playing inside our tiny half-dilapidated apartment. In one of the rooms, there was a white concrete wall without any decoration. I was sitting next to it, and suddenly thought that it would make a wonderful drawing board.

My mother was busy doing some tasks in the next room. It was unlikely that she would come to see us anytime soon. I took out a box of colour pens, and called my brother.

“Look, we can draw on the wall – like this!”

And I drew something randomly with a pink pen. My brother liked this idea greatly. He took his blue pen and started to draw on the wall. Without any hesitation, he drew an enormous “Kind Sun” filling the entire wall. I was impressed by his boldness. Up until that point, there was part of me that was afraid of breaking rules in the house (even though we hadn’t yet been told not to draw on the wall). After seeing my brother’s dynamic drawing, however, all of that went away, and I also started to draw freely on the wall.

We spent a good amount of time drawing our favourite items on the white wall, and when we were done, we went to meet our mother for snacks. She thought that we looked unusually happy, but not knowing what had happened, she was delighted to see our happy faces.

However, after the snack time, she finally made a visit to the room and we heard her shocked voice.

“What is THIS?”

Oh, we’ll be scolded, I thought. When I looked at my brother to check his reaction, he was smiling.

“Come here quick! Both of you!”

When we went to see her, she immediately asked for an explanation for the drawing on the wall. Looking at my mother’s scary face, I explained.

“Well, the white wall was tempting. I tried to draw small ones, but my brother drew this big one.”

“It’s not the matter of sizes!” she shouted. “This is a rented apartment, and we have to return it at some point! We cannot have this kind of thing on the wall!”

My mother spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing the wall with a wet towel and soap, but unfortunately, some trace remained. Especially, my brother’s Kind Sun was quite visible even after all the effort of erasing it.

“We’ll leave it like this for now,” said my mother. “But remember, no more drawing on the wall, please!”

Thus, my brother’s Kind Sun shined on the wall for the next year and a half until our family bought a house in the suburb and moved out of the apartment. What we didn’t realize on that day, however, was that within a year my brother would pass away and the drawing on the wall would have a totally different meaning to us. My mother kept the drawing on the wall until the very last moment, and took a lot of pictures of it before she and other mother friends painted the wall with a fresh white paint.