I lost my sister a week ago today. She passed peacefully in her sleep, her heart gave up after a life long fight with juvenile diabetes. I was born in 1979, the same year my sister was diagnosed. There was 12 years between us. I also have a second sister that is 11 years older than me. They became step sisters when our parents married, and then came me. I was the blood that bonded this family together, and even made us obligated to each other when we shouldn't of been. My role was tough. Even though I was the little sister, I quickly became caregiver and protector to my diabetic sister. I went on to be her living donor, and gave her my left kidney when I was just 21 years old. I promised my big sister my kidney years ago. That surgery was very tough on me, and I almost died. My lungs collapsed and filled with fluid. I went right into pneumonia. The only thing that woke me, was hearing my sister's voice. It reminded me what I was doing all this for. My sister felt great! The best she felt in many years. I really thought we would have a deeper bond, an unbreakable bond after all this. I was so wrong.
As the months and years began to pass, our relationship was in ruin. I became her target, and she didn't want to see me happy. She was having many, many affairs on her husband and going out to the bars every single night of the week. That beautiful gift I gave her meant nothing anymore. My sister was on a path of self destruction, and I was in her way. I couldn't confide in her anymore, she would tell anyone who would listen my deepest secrets. She was so cruel with the words she spoke about me. I was so hurt. Many times I walked away, vowing never to return. I always did. She was my sister, and that bond was a gift. I tried to trust her and repair the relationship, but things never changed. No matter what she did to me, when she got sick from complications of diabetes I would drop my life and run to her rescue.
The last time I spoke to my sister was before Easter. I am 32 years old now, and I have two girls that I raise alone. Nothing really happened between us, but nothing was getting better. She began selling her pain medication, and she was attracting some really bad people. I had to protect my children. I just stopped calling, and so did she.
September 17th came, it was my little one's 2nd birthday. I had a great day planned with my daughters and the rest of my very small family. My other sister woke me up, standing over my bed. She said Jan, I have some bad news sweetie. Your sister died this morning. I think I made her repeat that to me over and over. I really thought this was just another nightmare. It wasn't. My sister was dead, and she died on my daughter's birthday. I just couldn't wrap my head around this awful news. By 1pm, my brother in law and I were at the funeral home making arrangements. The wake, and funeral have come and gone. I am left with trying to get some normalcy back, but life for me is still very much surreal. I've been up and down and crying very hard over my losses. This isn't just the physical loss I'm feeling. I'm grieving for the relationship that I so desperately wanted to have with my big sister, and now there aren't anymore chances. For some reason, my sister was limited when it came to loving her family, but was very capable of loving her friends. Most of those friends were using her.
Today, at this very moment, I'm ok. I have a sense of relief now that she can't hurt me anymore. A new freedom to heal, and move forward. I know that where my sister is now, she is whole both physically and emotionally. I also know that she is with me, and can love me the way I so badly wanted her too when she was here on Earth. She isn't imprisoned by her body anymore, or by the mental illness I believe she suffered from. She is free to love her family the way I'm sure she wanted to, but just couldn't. My sister is pain free and I feel her love all around me.
I feel like today marks a very important time for me. I have never felt this kind of freedom before, and I am ready to heal. I look forward to my next journey. I know that my life is going to be pretty incredible, and its because I am finally surrounded by my big sister's love.
More from living