Monday, July 9, 2007

Day 12 & 13 ……..Filling the empty spaces.

I spent Saturday evening into Sunday morning at the emergency room with my sister. She had a mastectomy two weeks ago and is still in the process of healing.
Before I sat down to write my post on day twelve I checked in on her to see if she needed any more pain medication.

She didn’t feel well.
She had the chills mixed up with a slight fever.
The tubes that were inserted to drain the wound were leaking.
My mother and I decided that she needed to go to the emergency room.

My sister and I never really had what you call a close relationship. We’ve tried over the years to do what we could to have more of a bond. But for some reason or another we just couldn’t see past our differences to see how similar we really were.

She never understand the choices I made in life.
Never understood why I couldn’t just stop doing heroin.
Why I couldn’t just seem to get a grip.

I never understood why she was so tough on me.
Never understood the choices she made.
Why she could never stop for a minute to see life was more then her perspective.

Regardless of our differences…she was always there for me.

A few years back she had come to pick me up from one of my many visits to detox. But I wasn’t there. I had signed myself out several days prior.

She waited in the parking lot with a bouquet of flowers and I never showed.

My family is my family.

We didn’t grow up in a house of hugs and kisses.
Love was a thing we signed birthday cards with.
We didn’t talk of our feelings.
We all just sort of assumed.

It just wasn’t part of who we were……… then.

When she was diagnosed in late November with Breast Cancer.
Our family fell apart at the seams.
None of us could handle it.
None of us could understand it.

My sister on the other hand was and is amazing.

Up until the mastectomy she did cancer like she had a minor case of the Flu.
In-between the rounds of doctor appointments and the sessions of chemotherapy she went on with her life in such a way that it seemed she had never been diagnosed.

I never really took any responsibility in being more of a member of my family. I put the responsibility on them thinking that somehow and in someway they would become the loving and caring family I see others have.

My family is my family.
I love my family.

Since her diagnosis, I have been forced to take a look at myself. To really become aware of what I do to make sure the people in my life know how much they mean to me.

At first it was really uncomfortable.
To tell my sister I loved her was such a foreign thing.
It felt strange.
It still feels awkward to give my Father a hug.

The most important thing I have learned in my life is that I need to be responsible for what I do and do not do.

It’s not up to anyone else to make it easier for me.
Make me feel comfortable about it.
To do it for me.

It’s just up to me.

We drove to the emergency room in relative silence. For the most part we never have much to say to each other except small talk and funny memories of our family when we were younger.

Essentially we are strangers.

I hate that she has cancer.
I hate that little thought that tries to enter my mind that this disease will kill her.
I hate that it took this for me to realize how much I love her.

I know that everything happens for a reason. I keep looking for the reason why she has cancer. The only thing I can come up with at this point in time is that it’s the universes way of letting her know that she needs to re-evaluate her life.

I see how it has brought myself as well as my family the opportunity to finally let us all freely express our love for one another as awkward as it may be at times.

I drove her back to her home in Brooklyn Sunday night.
I helped her upstairs.
Put my three-year-old niece to bed.
Turned on her AC.
Turned on the TV.
Set up her bed.
Placed a little table next to her.
Poured her a glass of ice water to take her medications with.

I made sure she was comfortable and that she was okay before I headed back home.
Right before I left and we said goodbye…..

She told me she loved me
and without a pause I told her I loved her too.

It’s about filling in the empty spaces reserved for love.

Until Tomorrow,

Mighty Morgan


Bob Johnson said...

When my brother died 7 years ago of a sudden heart attack it hit me hard, he lived in a different city and we decided not to visit that summer, one of the biggest regrets of my life. Tell people especially family how you feel about them, death is final. We take the gift of life and the people we love for granted.

BillyWarhol said...

yeah Family are normally the only people to stick with U thru thick & thin*

Hope yer sis makes out OK*

it's good that yer able to be there for her after she's been there fer U in the past*

& don't be sneaking her Pain meds!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your sister. I hope everything turns out well for her.

Your family sounds just like mine. We always just assumed we cared about each other. Actually, we still do. It's so hard to change though. I'm 40 and this is how its been my whole life. I would like to change before it's too late though.

Also, congratulations on kicking the addiction. You are one very strong woman.

~Sandy G.

Theresa111 said...

Please let your family read this. By doing so you will increase the love and strengthen your family bond. This was beautifully written and if you touch your readers, imagine how you will touch your family. Peace. :)

I will light a candle for your sister at:
The candles are on the left side bar. Just click and follow easy instructions.

eagerblogger said...

It's true. Family is family. Sometimes circumstances force us to face the reality and analyze our lives. Life is too short.