April 3, 2013 by Dragonfly Diva
Yesterday marked the 4th year of my dance through life without my sister. I still find it difficult to believe that it has been that long, as time seemed to come to a grinding halt that day. Not a day has gone by that I wish fate had dealt her a different hand. She was only 36 years old, with three children, the youngest just two and a half years old. She battled courageously for almost three years, enduring chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. Yet, her cancer was aggressive and it had spread, so around the Christmas holidays of 2008 she began oral chemo. She knew that she still had fighting to do, that it would be a long road but she was still positive and had talked about things she would like to do to help other breast cancer patients when she was feeling better again. In late March though, she was having trouble and difficulty breathing so she went into the hospital.
The call I got on April 1st was not an April Fools joke – my brother-in-law said to get to their state as soon as I could. Thanks to one of the world’s best bosses and friends, I was driven across half our state and into the next one to the hospital where my sister and the rest of my family waited. Our prayers were not to be answered in the way we wished, but on the evening of April 2nd, my sister’s suffering was over.
This post though is not about the sadness, it is a time to remember a wonderful, vibrant, giving woman, mother, wife, daughter and sister.
My sister’s greatest joys were her three children and taking care of her family. She made the decision during her first pregnancy that she wanted to be a stay at home mother and she rocked the job. Her children, now almost 7, 12 and almost 17 are three people that anyone would be proud to call their children. She spent her years with those children helping them learn about right from wrong, how to help others and how to be a good parent and friend. The comments and stories told to us at her funeral were astounding. From our time with my sister, she always downplayed her wonderful efforts, her strengths, her actions, and her abilities and seemed most frequently to feel she really didn’t believe she was worthy. This could not have been further from the truth. She touched more lives than she every knew, including ours.
The years after her diagnosis were ones of courage, bravery and strength. She never wavered in her desire to be there for her children, taking care of her family. She was only willing to take help from others in sparing amounts, allowing our parents to help her, and a number of friends to cook meals for them during her sickest times. She still found the time and energy to help me via phone calls, texts and emails with difficult times we were going through, even when she was not feeling well. She sacrificed so much to continue to give to others.
While her children continue to shine her rays of light into our world, I see my sister’s heavenly touch in elements of my world each day. I miss hearing her voice, but am aware of her ongoing presence as I come across a card that she sent me, or a gift she gave me years ago. When I miss her most, I can read a book of poetry she wrote out for me while in college, or pull out pictures from our childhood years. Her memory will be with me always, and to me it is a memory of a brave, beautiful soul that continues to impact the lives of all she touched.