I don’t know why, but the exact day, time, and picture of me flipping through My Sister’s Keeper in MPH, wayyy back in 2007, is fresh in my mind.
I wore my grey NJ uniform.
I sat on the floor (and simply moved behind a bookshelf after being ticked off by a sales assistant).
I met my aunt after that.
We had Yakun kaya toast.
The day was so inconsequential and unimportant, but maybe Jodi Picoult has that kind of magic that arrests you in that moment. She heightens your senses through an excuse of a story–‘medical emancipation’, something so new and foreign to a 17 year old mind–and weaves a real tale of heart wrenching love. Maybe that’s why that day was so clear in my mind.
But I didn’t even finish reading the book, that day. I took off with memories of grey uniforms and kaya toast (I WANT MALAYSIAN HAWKER FOOOOOOD…WHY DID I EVER SAY I WON’T MISS MALAYSIAN FOOD), and left the story unfinished….until I watched the movie yesterday night.
For me, the story wasn’t about the sister who was manufactured to donate her body parts to the older, dying child. Definitely not about medical emancipation, the complicated webs we humans weave with our so called intelligence.
It was about the struggle, the pain, and the joy of a family trying to make things work. Trying to control things…that are better left surrendered. Trying to let go. Loving. Things falling crazily apart. Anger. The boy caught in between, neglected. It’s so intense I don’t even know what to do with it, I can’t write about it…I can only cry.
Jodi weaved a fragile and intricate web like the most skillful spider, capturing a beauty that in real life would be destroyed so quickly with the slightest gust of wind.