I have posted in the past about my sister Debby. She is still battling cancer on her liver and her lungs. She starts chemo this Friday. It just seems so weird to see that written down on paper.
Debby is my half-sister. She never lived with us when I was growing up, but she was around frequently. She had my oldest nephew when I was nine. He’s more like a younger brother than a nephew, but even at age 27, he still calls me Auntie Donna (I think I just gave away my age!!). Cracks me up. I have so many memories of her from my childhood. I remember her baby shower for Clay like it was yesterday, right down to the baby carriage on her cake. I remember the babies she has miscarried before she got pregnant with Clay, and the way the family celebrated when she finally got past the first trimester. What a blessing she has in that boy! He’s an amazing young man. Just has this quiet calm about him, but also loves life and gives so much of himself to those he loves. Debby has a daughter, too, Sarah, who is beautiful and funny, and a mother of two boys herself.
Debby always did “cool” things with us. Took us to the snow, took us to her in-laws’ cabin for a long weekend, etc. She always remembered birthdays, always got just the right gifts for Christmas, got along really well with my mom (her step-mom), and never ever treated us as “half-siblings”……we were her sisters and her brother, ALWAYS, and we still are.
She is the planner in the family, the one who reins us in when something might hurt someone else’s feelings, or pushes us and reminds us to take care of things that need to be done. She has always been there for me when I needed her. She is our leader. She is just such a positive person that gets everything out of every minute of the day. And she knows how to make you laugh, she knows how to hold you when you cry. I can’t help but wonder why this person, my sister, would get cancer.
We had our family Christmas at my brother’s house a week before Christmas. I hadn’t seen Debby since before we got word of the spread of the cancer to her lungs. I worried how everyone would be, what she would look like, how she would be. She was simply amazing. She looked beautiful. She put us all at ease, and, as usual, made us laugh. When she found out she was starting chemo this week, she emailed to see if my son Ryley would come up there and cut her hair off before it fell off…..I almost fell out of my chair laughing (for those who haven’t heard the story, Ryley has cut ALL of Grace’s hair off, to the scalp, TWICE in the course of a year!)…….That’s just the way Debby is. She does more than make lemonade when life gives her lemons.
I hope and pray with all my being that the chemo will get rid of the cancer in her body. I pray with all my heart that in 10 weeks, I’ll be headed home for a cancer-free celebration. But I know that if for some horrible reason, God sees fit to take Debby home to Him, she will leave a legacy of laughter and love.
This is a photo of five of the seven siblings in my family. Debby is the one in the red next to me.