Month: May 2013

Sisters

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I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness.  ~Emily Dickinson

 

I had four! Now I have three. 

 

I consider myself lucky to have three sisters even though they have driven me crazy at times, have made me love them too much, have made me wish I had only brothers or even better been an only child.

 

You see they are all younger than me.  I am their older sister, their role model (according to my mother).  I am the one who they often came to with their problems, their fears, their arguments with each other, their anger and just their need at times for someone to talk to.

 

Am I closer to one more than the other?  Well, it depends on what is happening in the world of my family.  At one time or another each one played a special part in my life.

 

Marie, my sister who was only 360 days younger than me, who grew up with me, who came to a new country and world was my direct opposite. She was dark, fiery, an athlete, a tomboy, willing to fight anyone at any time…I was blonde, shy and a bookworm. She was often found in a tree, in a cowboy suit with a gun, or playing rough and tumble games outside.  I was to be found in the bedroom with book, sitting and getting lost in places I as reading about. Still, while we may not have shared our looks or our behavior and personality we did share the love and adoration of our parents and younger siblings and grew up in ordinary, German/Australian household. 

 

Growing up, we shared a bedroom, we shared our clothes, although there were often arguments about who owned the stockings, the make up, the hair spray, we shared the love of our parents and knew we individually held a special place in the family.  As teenagers we argued over boyfriends, over personal space over everything and anything.  That changed as we both grew up, married, had children and became women.

I thought we would always have each other to occasionally confide in, to ask advice of, to spend time with and to gossip about our younger siblings and our parents but cancer took her away from all of me.  So very quickly, I didn’t really have the time to say the things I wanted to say, to acknowledge the love and companionship we had with each other. It is only now that I realize and appreciate what she gave to me and what I gave back in return.

 

Even when she was told she only had six months to live, she continued to be so strong, so courageous and bold, she told us all the cancer would not kill her.  It did! It didn’t take six months it took less time than that, even so the week before she died she was still organizing a barbeque at her place for the family.

 

Her courage and endurance was an inspiration to all of us, but most especially to me.

 

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Mothers.

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Mum this week I became aware of your mortality.

Your second visit to Casualty by ambulance. The second phone message from Susi. The second time I rushed from work to see you lying in a hospital bed being looked after by nurses and doctors.

This time you looked frail and old. I saw you lying in the bed, a hospital gown on, a needle in both arms for the drips they were about to hook up. You looked around with scared doe like eyes at the hospital staff doing their job. The noises of an ER – phones ringing, equipment buzzing, people talking some quietly while others more loudly.

I watched as the doctor told you there were signs of another UTI, decrease in potassium and AF. They proceeded to give you the things you needed to get better. You didn’t question you lay there at their mercy trusting in the care they were giving you.

Later, when they told us you would be admitted overnight I began to be more concerned. I didn’t want to leave you. What if something happened and I wasn’t there?

But nothing happened. You came home and we sat with you for a few hours in be sunshine talking about everything and nothing. You were a little confused and your thoughts jumped around from one topic to another.

Realising this might be the beginning of your movement into another stage of your life, I am confronted by my own mortality. I was born when you were 18 and now we are both in the autumn of our years, me at the beginning and you at the end.

Ron asked did I think you would live forever? HonestIy I never thought of you dying. I have never imagined a life of you not being here in my life.