Last week I went to visit my sister in Georgia. It was just my hubby and I and we drove the almost 1,000 miles to her house together. Not knowing the shape we would find her in.
A little back story, my sister and I both moved away from our childhood home of Massachusetts when we were much younger. Myself 18 years ago and she moved away down south not much longer after I moved away. We hadn’t seen each other since the day I left 18 years ago. Circumstances in both of our lives didn’t allow for us to make such a trip. It was expensive and neither of us were in the position to be able to afford a vacation, even if it meant to see family. We talked to each other frequently and kept each other up to date as to our happenings in our lives. When I last saw her I only had one child and was a single mom. She had two kids and was a single parent as well.
A few months ago my sister was diagnosed with a very large sarcoma in her pelvis. She has undergone lots of radiation and has been hospitalized twice in just the past couple of months. I was so scared that I was going to lose her. She was sounding so defeated, down and just giving up. She has fought breast cancer and won twice! Would this be the one that takes her from this world? I keep praying it is not. My wonderfully supportive husband said, “Let’s go and see her”.
So that is what we did. Our two youngest kids still had school and Thanksgiving break was nearing. I battled internally as to how we could do this. Would we take the kids? Would they be able to catch up in school? Could we afford for all of us to go? After discussing it further it was decided that just the two of us would go. As it would be stressful enough for me to see my sister in her vulnerable and weakened state that taking care of the kids along with that would just be too much. I felt selfish, because neither of my two younger kids have ever met her in person, and I have a grand daughter that I wanted her to see as well. But, this wasn’t the time.
Our drive was quite enjoyable actually. We talked, laughed, and sang along with the radio. I must have thanked my husband a million and one times as we drove down the highways leading from Iowa to Georgia. We drove all day, and arrived close to midnight. My sister stayed awake so late just to see us, so we stopped there before we even checked in to our motel.
She was so thin, so weak and looked so tired. I wanted to cry. I hugged her tight and told her not to give up, that she needed to fight like never before. I was going to take care of some things for her while we were there to help her to get stronger. The doctors have a plan for her surgery. They laid it all out for her, told her what to expect and what they plan to get done. They told her it will be a long road to recovery but she could do it!
After a good nights sleep or what constituted something close to it, hubby and I went to her house everyday and spent the day just visiting. Some days we shopped before heading over and I would cook up some of her favorite foods and packaged them in convenient servings and froze them. Each day we were there she got stronger. She got up and walked some each day, diligently did her exercises and I know she stayed awake more than she should have just to spend some time with us.
We got to spend Thanksgiving with her, her fiance and our nieces. It was nice, just us spending time together.
We laughed and looked at old photos of us that I hadn’t seen or even remembered existing. My husband got to see photos of me when I was younger. (My ex threw all the photos I had out when I left). He got to hear stories about our youth. It was fun to hear how she remembered things vs. how I remembered them. Neither right or wrong, just different perspectives.
I really enjoyed being with her and re-connecting after so long. I miss her dearly and have always missed her over the years. I am so blessed and grateful that I have such a wonderful husband and children who selflessly gave up Thanksgiving so that I could see my sister.
She is scheduled for surgery on December 10th. I am nervous for her, but the way she spoke of her ‘team of doctors’, I feel confident that she will beat this!!
She has to, because we still have so many more memories to make with one another!!