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Sisters

I have four sisters. We have a blended family, but they are just my “sisters”. If you want to get technical, I have a half-sister (same Daddy), Debby, a full sister, Amy, and two step-sisters, Tina and Kim. I’m second to youngest of the bunch. My Daddy has been married to my step-mom for 12 years, so we’ve all been together for a long time, and we’re all pretty close. It’s fun to have a big family. It also brings with it a lot of drama. I love my sisters, and could not imagine life without them. Sometimes I’m really sad for Grace….no sisters for her, just two brothers. I worry and feel guilty for all that she will miss out on by not having a sister….no sharing clothes, make-up, boyfriends, shoes; no fighting over clothes, make-up, boyfriends, or shoes. But no more babies for us, so no sisters for Grace.

My sister has cancer. There. I said it out loud. Give me a minute. I’ve been in denial on this for almost two years. The day I had Ethan, the surgeon removed a 15 pound tumor from Debby’s abdomen, one of her kidneys, and 9 cms of the vena cava artery. She has been going through different treatments ever since. Last Thursday, she had her third surgery. What they found was not good. She has large, aggressive lesions on her liver which have not responded to any of the past treatments. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I know it’s not good. Liver cancer is not good. My sister might die. She’s 50 years old. She has two kids, Clay and Sarah, and two grandsons, AJ and Darrius. She has been my role model for so many things……She is an amazing parent, an involved/loving grandparent, and she and my brother in law have one of those marriages we can only pray for. She is the queen of the siblings….keeps us in line, keeps us laughing, keeps us going even in the worst of times. When I was on bedrest before I had Ryley, she sent the biggest basket to me…full of magazines, lotions, candy, and chocolate chip cookies. When we moved to our new house, she sent a wall wreath that exactly matched my dining room. She’s just one of those people. She has cancer. She might die. I can hardly get those words out.

Yesterday at church, the pastor started a series on why bad things happen to good people. As soon as I saw the title, I started to cry. He started to speak, and the tears just rolled down my face as I prayed for my sister, for my family, for those babies of SHARE who have become angels, for my Ryley, for all the survivors who struggle to this day. But I cried for Debby. A good person going through a bad thing. And I cried for myself, for what will be gone from my life if this horrible disease takes her.

14 thoughts on “Sisters

  1. Oh Donna, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry for you, and for your sister. I lost my brother Tim when he was 29. (He had a heart attack). While it was hard for us, I honestly think watching my parents grieve was harder (little did I know that years later I would understand why). I will pray that things work out, and this nasty disease doesn’t take your sister. Please keep us posted on her progress, and her prognosis. I will be praying for all of you that this wonderful person in your life can be healed. Denise

  2. So what was the pastor’s reasoning? Why do bad things happen to good people? This is something I’ve struggled with since I was in your shoes at the age of 16.
    You know I’m here for all those difficult times. I pray for your family because it’s hard to be in your shoes. It’s hard to be the one who has to watch and be brave.
    You can check ‘denial’ of your list. I’m proud of you. That is a tough one.
    Call me whenever you want. I’ll cry with you.
    Darcy

  3. Donna, I know there is a book *Why bad things happen to good people*..but for the life of me…I could never bring myself to read it…during times like these, I wanted nothing more than to make NO reasoning out of it!! I know He has a plan for all of us, but as sisters, parents, daughters, friends, it is hard to make sense of all of this at the time it is happening! Know that you are NOT alone! I’ve never lost a sister, but a dad and a son…..you are loved & you & your family are prayed for….*check* need prayer off your list – right after denial!! You can bet on that!! I too am proud of you for coming forth with this horrific truth…we know it’s taken a while to come to this realization…but in doing so, you are allowing yourself to truly understand your sister & all she is going through…while you sit by & watch her……be there for her as you always are….call on your friends when you need a BIG OL’ HUG…and we’ll be here for you! You are not alone…keep us updated please!! I’m also only a phone call away…and I promise a BIG OL’ SHARE HUG IN 7 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUGS!!
    Sharlene

  4. You guys are the best…….Thanks so much for your hugs, your words, and your understanding. It means so much and makes such a difference….. Hugs!
    Donna

  5. Donna, I am so sorry that you, your sister and your family have to deal with this. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. I know how scared we were and it was caught very, very early. I will keep your family in my thoughts and pray that your sister recovers from this. I know what you mean about sisters. My sister and I are very close now as adults. As teenagers, we could hardly stand each other. But I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. I have been fortunate enough to give birth to 1 son and 2 daughters. Unfortunately, my first daughter dies when she was just 2 days old and my second daughter will never know the love of her big sister. It makes me very sad to know that she may never have a sister and may never know the bond that exists between sisters. I am sorry that she has cancer and that she might die. I am sorry that you may lose a shining star in your life. I am sorry that I don’t have any words to comfort you. Just know that there are many people here praying for your family and that things will get better. Love,
    Christi

  6. Donna, I read your blog…and my heart ached for you and your family. I think sometimes….what does dying gracefully mean? What does it mean to look death in the face…and know that it has come for you…or for a loved one? What is this sorrow and heartbreak about? I know the scientific explanations…I *know* them…but science has little to do with emotion. With raw….sincere…deeply felt emotion…. I remember when you told me in San Diego about your dear sister. In a flash…for a second….I saw the uncertainty…anxiety….struggle over something so *hugely* painful spread across your face…in a flicker…and then it was gone…And for that moment, I instantly knew how much you struggle to keep the balance between hope/faith…and unwavering sorrow… It hurts so much to greive over the loss of the people we love….It is not something we get over, but something that becomes part of us… I am glad that you took the time to cry for your sister and for yourself. How *very* brave of you. And I wonder…when the time is right…whether your sister makes it through this obstacle… or she stops in front of it…if you will give her the gift of your tears. I wonder if I could….It is a hard thing to do…it shows everyone in the room how vulnerable we are…but it *says* so much too. It says a tremendous amount without ever opening your lips. And an added gift…it gives everyone permission to cease from being a not-human…giving into the human experience of expressing true emotion…and maybe savoring that moment in the years to come. HUGS! You have moved me with many of your blogs…but this one…it is as graceful as it is wise….and I am *tremendously* proud of you. Warmly, Melissa

  7. Donna, I’m so very sorry for you, for your sister, for your family. This must be indescribably scary for you right now. I know how much I admire, need, and cherish my big sisters. I don’t know what I would do if I were faced with the situation you are facing. Please know I’m here for you, walking this path with you, every step of the way. I will cry with you, support you, and carry you when you can’t find the strength to face another day. I continue to pray for your sister, and for her Doctors, to find the answers that you all are desperately seeking. Update when you can!! I love you and am here for you when you need me!! HUGS!!
    Karri

  8. Donna, I am so sorry about your sister, I will keep your family in my prayers… I know how difficult something like this can be to go through…I have 2 sisters that are breast cancer survivors… It was very long road for my eldest sister because it was not contained to her breast.. This has been a battle for her for a long time now.. Like your sister she was there when I was a small child.. She is the eldest girl of 12 children and I am the youngest girl …I can remember many times spending weekends with her, and her caring for me much of my childhood…. She had always been more of a Mother than a sister, she actually named me when I was born…I know it is so very hard to see them go through this… At the time the most difficult thing for me was to admit she had something that could take her life. … This disease takes a toll on the entire family.. Please hang in there and know there are many many here to hold your hand when ever you need us… Please keep us posted!!!! God Bless
    Melody

  9. Donna,
    There is no much I can do to lesson the pain that you must be feeling. There is something I can do, pray, and pray I will.
    Christa

  10. Thank you all again, so much…..For your words, your support, and your prayers. They mean so much more than I can express. I know this is going to be a journey, a long road to follow. I love you guys…..You all make it so much easier to face each day! Hugs!
    Donna

  11. Donna,
    I have three brothers (one “full” two “step”). Tell Grace it is fun to be the only girl! I am SO sorry to hear about your sister. It is so hard to have someone so close going through something so terrible. Thinking of you and your family. Kara

  12. Donna, It’s very hard to see a dear friend go through such pain, and I just wanted you to know that I will be there for you! What I have learned from being the youngest daughter and taking care of both my parents who have now passed on, is that you are never prepared for life’s twists and turns. I lost my mom when I was in my young 20’s and promised her I would always take care of my Dad. Last March 2004 at the ripe old age of 101, he passed away in his sleep. I knew his time was near, but fell apart when he left me and Benjamin. He hung on for a long time because I was his little girl and someone had to take care of me. He celebrated his 101st birthday on that Saturday and passed away that Tuesday. WE had a wonderful father and daughter talk and he loved Benjamin so very much. I hope you will share what you have written about your sister with her. There is a lot of her in YOU. She is so amazing and so blessed with a life filled with an amazing loving family. I will keep her in my prayers……..she is already blessed with a pure heart! I know this was very difficult to do, and you are not alone on this journey either!!!! Hugs to you! Brenda

  13. Donna, I’m so, so sorry that you have to watch your sister hurt, and hurt so for her. Looking into the face of the ugly unknown that cancer is, is almost more than anyone can bear, and certainly more than anyone should HAVE to bear. I’m glad that you were finally able to cry for her…for yourself. That’s a HUGE step. God bless you and God bless your sister. I will keep her, and YOU in my prayers. Hugs,
    Page

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