She explains

I’m three in this memory. In August, my new-born brother comes out of ICU after his heart surgery, and because my parents need to focus on his care, I’m sent to my maternal grandmother to spend three weeks with her family.

At her house, everybody wants to know about my brother’s condition. They ask my grandmother since she was there with us when he was born. But she struggles to explain my brother’s heart problem in the way others can understand.

“His great arteries were attached to wrong places of his heart,” I jump in. “The one that carried the clean blood came back to the clean side of his heart, and so, the oxygen didn’t go around his body like it should. He had the surgery to fix this.”

I eagerly recount what my mother explained to me back home. Since then, I’ve explained it to many adults around me, and now, words flow out of my mouth smoothly.

My relatives and the neighbours all nod upon hearing my explanation.

“Gee, her explanation is much clearer than yours, grandma,” remarks my elder cousin. “We all get it now!”

Explaining my brother’s heart condition to others is now a part of me, and it feels natural to me like the beat of my own heart.