I had a cousin who'd follow me around like a little lost lamb saying "Fun-di" because he could not pronounce my name. I used to spend summer vacations with my kid cousin trying to teach him to catch flies and burp. Not elegant, certainly... but I was never very elegant in the first place. We would go up to the roof with a handful of stolen pickles and sit together with other cousins of mine, all older, and play fierce games of hide-and-seek (I ended up with a bloody nose once... so there!) and Ludo. He was too young to play Ludo so he was always on my side.
When I was Fourteen we realized my cousin was not like other kids. He was different. Because at Six, he could not do things which boys of Three could do. Slowly we discovered that he had Ataxia, a form of Cerebral Palsy, and he was, what can be commonly called, Spastic.
He never gave up. He had a problem with balance and eye movement but he was smart and studied privately and we were teaching him things to do. He had worked and studied, and began to listen to books being read out to him.
He almost made it.
But well, life was not really very sympathetic. Five months after his 18th birthday, his kidneys gave way, and he went into a coma. The doctor discreetly told us that it was very difficult to find a kidney donor for an abnormal boy.
Last night he died. His heart could not take it.
Everyone was saying what a relief it was. For him and his parents. The burden finally released.
Through the blind haze of pain, I just walked out of my filthy house.