My phone conversation with my "little big sister", my nickname for my petite older sister, was truly a wake-up call yesterday. Perhaps for her as well as for me. When I asked her what she was up to, as I customarily do, she replied that she had just gotten out of the shower and she was hurting. "Hurting where?" I asked. "In my chest, shoulders, and kind of burning-tingling down my left arm," was her startling response. I then asked her how soon her husband would be home, and she said he was walking through the door as we spoke. I said, "Then you need to tell him what's going on and you need to get to the hospital and get checked."
I could tell by the breaks in her voice that her pain was not exaggerated and that she was frightened. Her fear became my fear. I called her back when I reached my house, and she was still deliberating over whether or not to go to the hospital. I told her to stop thinking about it and get going. I said, "You've got Medicare, so you don't have to worry about the cost. Just go! Better to be safe than sorry." I also told her that if our mother or father were alive, they would tell her the same thing.
|My sister Doris, her beautiful bride doll, and me with my baby doll. Note the|
matching dresses, made especially for us by our mother for Christmas.
She is the one who went with me out in the cold to the scary, stinky outhouse we had on our farm. (She's also the one who left me in there alone one day and I couldn't get the door open and had to start pounding and screaming to get someone's attention that I was stuck in the outhouse alone....but that's another story! )
My sister is the one who taught me about what to do when puberty came along and scared me half to death.
She is the one who taught me how to sew and even fixed my sewing catastrophes when I couldn't figure out how to get that zipper in straight, or make that button-hole attachment work right...or even how to thread the bobbin and needle over and over again when I had the tension too tight. (Seamstresses will understand this...this is why I never have really liked sewing all that much...and my sister is such a natural!)
Yeah, she's my BIG sister, even if she IS much smaller than me. (I'm the "BIG LITTLE sister"). We've had our moments...spats you might call them. I think we even pulled each other's hair a few times and did a lot of screaming at each other when it seemed like the only thing to do. But when all was said and done, we still loved each other. We still love each other. Since our Mama and Daddy both went to heaven we've clung to each other like sisters do. We share the same kind of DNA...we think alike,
|Yeah, we think alike...both stuck out our tongues at the same time at a|
sneaky photographer! (Taking a walk with our Daddy)
| Sisters dressed alike for my son's wedding rehearsal party...totally unplanned|
shown here together with our parents on either side of us.
The good news is, so far today they haven't found anything wrong with my sister. Her heart seems to be beating strong and healthy. But this was a wake-up call. A call for me to recognize how much I love my "little big sister", and how much she means to me. Sometimes we may get exasperated with each other and not totally agree with the way we do things...but when all is said and done...we are family. We need each other. I hope to keep my "little big sister" around for a long time. She reminds me of our Mama AND our Daddy. She is a link to our past and our future.
If there is a lesson in this for us, it would be to cherish your family, whether they be near or far, parent, sibling, spouse, or child. We were lucky (blessed) this time that it was just a "wake up call". The next time we may not be so fortunate. Tell your loved ones that you love them while there is time. Don't wait until something bad happens and then wish you'd told them.
I love you, Sis. Yeah, I love you too, brothers. Believe me, I want to keep all of you around just as long as I can. I'm the baby of the family, and I don't like being left "alone."