My Sister, Elaine

Elaine, last year

Saturday, September 28, 2019

My elderly sister’s condition is deteriorating. Her hospice social worker alerted me yesterday by phone. Last week, when I visited my sister, I found her alert and very thin. She had a highly visible stomach tumor and insisted it neither bothered nor pained her. The social worker, in our conversation, advised me to self-prepare, and expect to see significant changes that rapidly have occurred.

I’ll visit Elaine today and try to be prepared for the update. It’s not that what’s new hasn’t been anticipated, the problem is that ahead is a new reality. I really cannot imagine being without her totally, not having her somewhere around, arguing and giving me a hard time about almost everything.

That’s the story of our sisterhood. She, the big sister who wanted to be a mother, and me, the little sister trying to escape her idiosyncratic viewpoints and beliefs. Wanting to escape her swings into highs and lows that came and went quicker than many brief summer showers.

I’ll say this, while on highs, Elaine’s belief in herself was outstanding, and she could do (and did!) almost anything she set her mind to. Her lows were bummers, with calls to me always moaning and groaning about the winds that blew consistently and making her feel incredibly sad and unhappy.

All relationships have positives and negatives, and another side is that Elaine had positive influences on me. She was a role model for independence and can-do, and I adopted lots of those. She was ferociously independent, until she couldn’t be, and finally four years ago, allowed herself to accompany me to Oregon. These last four years of her life have created their own story.

I love you, Elaine, and will visit you today.

Dear Readers: My emotions are complex, maybe soon they can become clearer. Diana

2 thoughts on “My Sister, Elaine

  1. Yes, sibling relationships are complex. I have lost both of my brothers and feel lonely for them often, especially Mark. One of our mutual childhood friends has taken me under his wing. I am back from my long road trip and he was one of my main stops. He and his darling Irish wife live in North Park, Colorado. Yummy country. I visited Mark when he was close to death in Tucson. Precious time together. Was grateful to be with him. He was still lucid and even fun.

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    Liked by 1 person

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