Sunday, November 20, 2016

#496 The Circle of Life

Grandpa with little Jordan Kathryn
I can not make sense out of it.  I am living with stage iv metastatic breast cancer--a deadly diagnosis with horrible statistics if you want to stay alive.  33 months is the median survival time.  I am on month 29 and still hanging in there hoping to pass the next milestone.  But this is not what has me completely undone.

What has turned my life upside down is the sudden loss of my fun-loving, talented crazy younger sister due to complications from a double knee replacement.  It is mind boggling, devastating and crippling right now.  She was not to die first--that was my doom. We didn't have time to discuss how, after I was gone,  she was to continue to parent/advise my three adult children (yes, they will always need additional parenting), fawn over my granddaughter and watch over Rob.  She, along with my older sister, were going to carry on, share the memories of our childhood, be there for each other.

And now she is gone and my heart is breaking.  Not only for the loss of my best friend but for everything we had left to say to each other.  I am told to cling to her memories, cherish the good times and time will heal.  Right now "carrying on" does not seem possible. I want her here by my side because she was the one who gave me strength to keep going.

Sixty-two years old, recently retired from a successful teaching career and a new grand baby on the way. How does life switch gears so quickly?  Her legacy of love left behind include her beloved husband--sweethearts since eighth grade--and her four rock star children who would make anyone proud to even know them.  The super stars of her life were her seven grandchildren--Baby Jordan Kathryn arrived on Friday.  Their grief is palpable as they try to make sense of her loss.

Her numerous lessons taught us how to live--grab on to life and swing from the highest tree.  Learn and teach others was her mantra.  Case in point--she helped me make a quilt for my unborn granddaughter when I was at my lowest point after finding the cancer in my body.  At the time I could not even fathom rising each morning let alone be around when my first grandchild arrived.  She somehow knew I would hold this precious bundle in my arms one day soon.  Her no nonsense approach was to "get sewing and get it done"--and we did.

Anyone who has a sister knows that special bond.  A bond that ties you together with love, memories, laughter.  She knew me better than I knew myself.  Did she know I would survive her death and would be the one responsible for being there for her family?  Maybe she was aware of her limited time and that was why she seized life with such gusto.  I will miss this about her.  Even though I was the older sister, she was the wise one who taught me.   Sage beyond her years.

It has been a crushing blow but tomorrow will come and I will get up with a smile on my face when I picture her sewing her quilts or laughing at a joke. My loved ones will be hugged a little tighter, a little closer because of her and I will remind myself how lucky I was to be her sister for sixty-two years.

Thanks for reading # 496 of 7777.


  1. Life. I love it, but it can be so hard. So sorry this has happened to you.

  2. Sometimes I feel blessed because I know how I am likely to die, and will have a bit of a heads up on when. Then I realize that is crazy, cancer treatment sucks and death just sucks. I am so sorry for you loss <3 *Hugs*