Saturday, October 25, 2008

My sister

My sister and I have led two very different lives in many ways.   She lives on my grandparent's old farm land and has only lived away from our hometown long enough for two years of college.  I have lived in 8 different states in my adult life. We tend to live in places like people vacation.  She has one child, I have 6, not that she didn't necessarily want more, not hat many days I want less.  She has worked for the same university almost since graduation.  I've never worked anywhere long, probably never will.  I get bored easily.  I guess we both have been married to our husbands quite a along time.  She is the peacemaker, I am the one who says what everyone is thinking and usually creates trouble.
Here is the big difference.  More dying and illness has been packed into her lifetime than anyone I know, and more living and health has been packed into mine.  She certainly hasn't invited any of this, but she has had to handle more grieving than I may ever know.  I just don't know how she gets through.  I can't even tell you how many times she has almost died, even this year alone.  The car accidents she has had.  She almost died having her child. She has had cancer. Her husband could have died in a really bad accident just before school this year.  He found her laying on her bed unresponsive with her eyes open in August (She has type 1 diabetes). Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law was involved in an accident this past Sunday and was very nearly paralyzed, during which she herself went to the emergency room with an issue. Her father-in-law is in the late stages of prostate cancer.  I  don't see how she is such a generally pleasant person.   The list is a lot longer, she keeps coming back.
I have only dealt with one death in my life, my father's. 17 years ago.  I always tell people don't be upset if I die anytime now, I have lived more and seen more than a lot of people.  I have always done things to the extreme, hence the 6 sons.  Life seems difficult sometimes, but then I talk to Sue.  She never complains.  She is remarkable, but I'm sure she would ask for it all differently if she got a do-over.  She would ask for the ease of my troubles in exchange for her "experience" in growing through grief.  Someday I will need her, and she will be the one I know understands about the loss.  God know she will likely still be here, because she can't apparently die. She hasn't shut down and not been close to people because she has lost before, she is one of the most caring people there are.
So how do we get handed these things?  Why are those of us handed the easy way usually not deserving, and those who are deserving given the hard road?  That's the question.

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