Sibling of the Month - May 2019
“Mixing colors is like dealing with problems in life. Because you keep mixing colors until you get it right. And you keep adding positive thoughts onto your problems until you find your solution.” ~Lucia, age 8
Lucia is 8 years old. Her sister, Issy, age 13, was diagnosed with a brain tumor almost a year ago. Issy was in the hospital for a very long time for surgery and treatments. During this time Issy needed support and her family and friends came through for her. However, as Lucia explains in the interview below, this has been difficult for her sometimes. Below she shares her feelings about what it’s like to have an ill sibling who becomes the “center of attention.”
And now introducing Lucia…
(Interviewed by Friends of Karen Sibling Specialist, Melinda Ferraraccio)
Tell us something cool about you?
I’m not Italian, but I have an Italian name. My mom is named after an Italian queen and my dad’s name is Italian too. So when Issy was born they chose another Italian name…Isabella. When I was born my mom said “We have to go really Italian on this one!” So they named me Lucia.
What are your talents and strengths? What are you really good at?
Drawing, as you can tell from my picture. Also reading and writing.
What makes you happy?
My friends. And reading this magazine called highlights because it’s fun and it gives crafts, activities, and stories. Also playing with model magic because it’s really soft.
Tell us the best thing about your family?
They are really, really nice. They usually get me and my sister stuff that we need. Also when they bump into friends they have a talk instead of just saying hi and walking away.
What is something that really bothers you?
When my sister tells me I can’t do something when I really want to do something. Also, cleaning up other people’s messes. AND, when my mom tells me not to do something and then I do it anyway and something bad happens. I’m like AAAAAGGGGHHHHH and I want to go back in time and not do it.
Can you share something you think other people should know about what it’s like to have a sibling with an illness?
You learn that you don’t get a lot of attention. I wish people would know it’s still important to give equal amounts of attention to siblings.
What advice do you have for other siblings?
Sometimes, even though my sister has an “injury,” she can still play with me. Your siblings might be able to do things even if you don’t think they can. Also, your sibling will probably get a lot of attention. When Issy was learning to walk again after her surgery everyone was clapping for her and I was like “oh yay” because I was pretty sure at the time Issy would now be the center of attention. I kind of felt like “yay and nay” because I didn’t want to be selfish.
Many siblings feel that way Lucia. And sometimes the people who love them most just don’t realize those feelings are there. That’s why it is really important for all siblings to speak up and talk to their families about these feelings. If you could change the world in one way what would you do? Why?
I would get rid of pollution because it’s hurting animals and the oceans. Especially sea turtles, which I love. They are getting caught in plastic. I would also get rid of littering because it hurts more animals and the earth.
Is there a question you wish I had asked?
What are your hobbies?
What are your hobbies?
Collecting weird things, like these colorful zip ties. I have 10 of them. Also, drawing, painting, playing the ukulele, and collecting and snuggling with stuffed animals. I have over 30, but Issy has even more. She has over 40!