One morning earlier this summer, I was poised to do some writing in a crowded waiting room at my car dealership when my sister called me. "Can you talk?"
In the weeks since my sister's diagnosis, I've experienced all over again how...
- Time slows when in a crisis.
- Knowing exactly what to say/do can't prevent the pain of knowing a loved one has cancer.
- Being far away gives imagination greater latitude.
- Doctor-prescribed meds may be needed short-term to respond optimally in a crisis.
- At times, listening whole-heartedly and without judgment helps more than any words or actions.
- Just because cancer is always sad, we don't have to feel sad all the time.
- Nourishing hope for the best possible outcome takes time and effort.
In my sister's time of need, loving her means...
- Being strong when she cannot.
- Giving her what she needs, even if doing so is difficult and/or painful for me.
- Recognizing when what she needs is different than what she wants.
- Remembering that this is her journey and always honoring her right to live her way.
Siblings share a history that binds them in uniquely powerful ways. As her sister in survivorship, I feel prepared to love and support her through whatever lies ahead. As a Healthy Survivor, I feel genuine hope for the best possible outcome.