I didn’t write for Mamavation Monday last week because I was still trying to wrap my head around the news that I would be saying goodbye to my baby sister. I would love to tell you that I am better now, but all I can tell you that I have enough new prescriptions to keep me from going with her. I have been historically bad at telling myself that since life is so short, and incredibly unfair, I am not going to waste my time in a stupid gym and I am going to eat what I want because you never know what meal will be your last. That is why I am trying to keep writing through these darker days, because I need to stay grounded with the community I have found here. I have vowed to be real, and I cannot be real about where I am without writing in detail about my current state of wellness, or lack thereof. When I don’t write, I hide, and hiding from a community that I need is not an answer for me. So, know that even though you are not my primary focus right now, I still feel you holding my hand through it all.
Here we go…
I shared a room with my baby sister until I left home at 18. I was jealous when MY Daddy picked a “Daddy’s girl” outfit for this creature to wear home from the hospital, and I was even more mad when I had to go from a full-size bed to a twin so the crib would fit in MY room. Eventually I got used to the idea; I was 9, so I just pretended that she was my baby doll. I must have sang our special song to her thousands of times as I tucked her into bed each night. I always took on the self-appointed role of caretaker, especially after my parents divorce. I now understand that my motherly role was neither appropriate or healthy, but you couldn’t have told me that then. I guess I was nursing my own wounds through the nurturing of my younger siblings. My sister turned 15 when I was pregnant with my first child and that was also when I began to lose her. She and my youngest brother became teenagers and were both resentful of the third “parent” getting up in their business. Her becoming a teenage girl meant that she could spin her head upon her neck and she could also laugh manically while doing so. So I grew up a little, tried to learn some “Healthy” boundaries, began to focus on my new family, and let her slip away.
Two years ago she was diagnosed with Acute Myelomonocytic Leukemia at an ER while living in the Chicago area, and that is when I began to get her back. Throughout her battle, we have tried desperately to find our way, a natural flow to our grownup relationship. Now, she has only days remaining in her life expectancy, and I am just trying to find a way to open up to her in the way I did on those tender nights in our room. She is once again that little girl who needs me to do what I do. It is too late to form an adult/adult relationship here, there just isn’t time for us to pretend we are something that we never learned to be. I have to let down my “healthy” boundaries, and nurse my wounds once again as I nurture her into her final days. I have to remember how to love her the way she knows me, as a self-appointed caretaker, as her big sister, and as her roommate in life. These will not be my finest hours, and I am going to fall apart as I lose her again; but it would not be fair to either of us for me to give her anything less than my whole heart.