Born Sisters, Forever Friends

I am the eldest of three girls. I am also the one who left, I married a military man and traveled the world. I have no regrets but it has changed my relationship with my sisters and the rest of the family. My family is like a lot of families we have a lot of problems and we don’t get along. I know what you are thinking, all families have problems but my family is full of so much hate we couldn’t have a  funeral for my mother. If we had one funeral there would be fighting to the point that the police would be called. How do I know, it has happened in the past.  So when mom died I had to choose, either two or even three separate funerals or not have any at all. Mom and Dad never did want funerals with all the fuss and expense and they even put their wishes in their wills. So when I made the calls to let her brothers and sisters and my sisters know there would be no funeral because that is what mom wanted I was being honest. No one objected.  That’s a little bit of background for you to help you understand a little bit of our family dynamics. To say we don’t get along is an understatement!

My sisters life choices and their difficulties with drug and alcohol addiction are taking their toll. The middle of us girls was put on life support last year and went through months of rehab. She did survive.

Two weeks ago my youngest sister went in for routine surgery and was put into a medically induced comma and put on a vent. This was very bad and scary. She had called me the day after her surgery and we laughed and talked. To say it was a shock was an understatement. Her organs where shutting down due to lack of oxygen and she was withdrawing from an extreme case of alcohol abuse. Once the Dr had the family in the room and got the truth about her drinking and smoking and past issues with meth and other drug abuse they were able to treat her correctly. She was in the coma for 12 days. Ten out of the 12 days were very rough with many calls and updates. Then the call came that she had turned a corner and they were working on weening  her off the vent and she was stable. Great news!

She is completely off the vent and has been moved to a rehab facility and is improving daily. She has a long way to go but she is a fighter.

So why didn’t I go and see her and help? How did I get through these past weeks staying in Texas and not being by my sister’s side. Well let me tell you it wasn’t easy. My first instinct was to get there as fast as I could but what good would that do my sister and her daughters? My years as a chaplain has taught me that there is a point in a patients care when they are  in a medically induced coma that sitting a staring at the patient is not always the best thing for the family or individual family members. I mean let be blunt here, what good would it have done anyone to have me there? Back before credit cards and instant loans and cash advances relatives could not and did not travel to every relatives bed side nor did they attend every funeral. They couldn’t! And they survived! So would I! So my husband and I decided to stay here and get everything ready in case we had to go with his job and my business. We even put a trip to NY on hold since we are not made of money and know we couldn’t afford to go to CO if need be and go to NY to see the youngest niece graduate from collage. We are still on hold but it’s looking good for NY.

How does one keep themselves together and their life on track when something like this is going on?

  1. Get all the facts and make sure you are comfortable with staying home.
  2. Take care of you, sleep, eat well, etc… I even scheduled an extra massage during this time to try and destress
  3. Keep busy with your daily routine
  4. Stay in contact with family and if family is not a good source of information see if you can obtain updates from the hospital staff. The family can give permission and obtain a code so you can call and get update.
  5. Understand that this is out of your control.
  6. Let everyone know your sister is in the hospital and not doing well so they are not shocked when you have to leave or when you are not available.
  7. I take fewer appointments during these stressful times.
  8. I think one of the best things I have done for myself and my business is I don’t do it all, so during times like the past few weeks the bookkeeping was being done and social media post were happening. My assistant and other stall where working on customer ‘s quilts when I was on the phone or just not totally here. The world did not know that Laura was going though a stressful time unless I told them.
  9. Have people you can talk to about the situation.

I love my sisters and I accept that they have chosen a lifestyle I don’t agree with. I am angry that my sister has done this to herself and her family with all the years of abuse. I love my sisters dearly but at times I truly do want to wring their necks as I am sure they would like to wring mine.

We were born sisters and will forever be friends!

If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you where probably an only child. – Linda Sunshine