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Archive for May 14th, 2011

My sister, an anniversary

14 May

{ personal: }

Orchid
Orchid in the waiting room while she got accupuncture

 

Today marks the one year anniversary of my middle sister’s cancer diagnosis and recovery. Throughout the past year, I ran with an unwavering fervor and blogged almost daily for a long time at an attempt to maintain my sanity. It seems to have worked, this is our story.

One year ago today, I received a phone call that would devastate me. My mom called me at work, trying desperately to maintain her composure while telling me that one of my baby sisters had just been diagnosed with cancer. A check-up had turned into a need for urgent surgery. The shock silenced me. It was minutes before a meeting. I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. I’ve never been so scared of losing someone I love. I didn’t even have enough words to excuse myself from the meeting I was in. I just sat silently, in shock.

The past year has been rough. That’s really an understatement, her illness was one of several challenges I dealt with, though definitely the most heart-breaking. It took me months to realize that even through the laughter, through the daily tasks and the mundane, the pain permeated my every fiber and lived inside me; I felt helpless.

Fast forward to the present. She has a clean bill of health. I want to celebrate her life today.

I want to celebrate the bond that has always remained strong, the hotline we have to each other. The three sisters connected to each other through thick and thin. I don’t wish illness on anyone.  I only started sleeping regularly recently. I didn’t talk about it much, my closest friends heard about the process, that’s about it. It hasn’t been easy to write this.

I’m amazed that I maintained a balanced temperament. I was grateful every day that I didn’t snap, that I managed to remain present, here, now. I was so angry, we all were. She and I would crack really awful jokes about it, the kind only a sister who’s health is compromised would think was funny because the alternative to poking fun is tragedy. She really has a good sense of humor. Today I celebrate her health and her life.

My sister undergoing chemo
Spending the day with her while she was undergoing chemo

 

My beautiful sister, Ingrid. Lover of animals and plants. Happy to smile, perpetuating love around everything she touches. Creative, crafty, silly. I imagine her sitting outside with her husband and cats, fussing about the garden, snapping pictures. No interruptions, no strangers around, no illness. I love you. May we find things to laugh about for many years to come.

 
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