Monday, June 21, 2010

Real Life Strikes Again

Not everything important that happens does so in the arena of activism for natural mothers or on the Internet. Real life is still going on and people are still being born, living and dying.

The picture at the left could be my sisters and me. We were stairsteps with only 14 months betweem my middle sister and me. Our baby sister came along almost 3 years after her.

We all had our distinct talents and personalities. I was sensitive, the scholar, tended to day-dream, read a lot and backed down from fights for the most part. Susan was a little spitfire, full of common sense, athletic, strong and with the singing voice of an angel. Debbie was our plump little tag-along. She was happy doing her own thing and loved animals and horses. Today, she has one of her own, leads trail rides and works in a very responsible field of healthcare. Oh, and she is no longer heavy.

Because of the disparity in our natures and the hard knocks we endured growing up, Susan and I had our differences and as we got older, the differences became more serious. When I moved to FL, I very seldom talked to her. What the problems were is no longer an issue. She hasn't changed her basic nature, but something HAS changed. Her health.

My youngest sister had been telling me that she was in bad shape but I didn't realize how bad until I spoke to her, yesterday. She couldn't sing a note if she wanted to. That beautiful voice is lost forever. Her COPD is severe. She also has other problems that make her life, as she puts it, "miserable." She is giving up and just waiting for the end.

Everyone always thought that Susan would outlast everyone. She was tough and in control. The problem is, that she was too much in control. To be a survivor, you have to be able to bend a little when a hard wind blows. When you keep standing up, rigid and straight, you break. Now she is in a position that no one who knew her would ever have expected...dependent.

I remember how she defended me against the nasty rumors when I was pregnant. I remember how she was ostracized by some fair-weather friends because of me. But she never complained. She just gave them the finger and moved on. I remember the first time I learned that, behind that "up yours" exterior was a person with feelings that could be hurt. But she was unfailingly loyal to me. I can do no less for her, now.

As we mothers of the EMS continue to age, so do our families. It becomes a juggling act, trying to deal with aging issues, illnesses, retirement plans, and adult children and also staying active in EMS Mothers' issues. It's really a no-brainer as to which should get the lion's share of our attention. The crimes against the mothers of the EMS are always going to be a fact of our history. But we don't know how long we or our family members will last.

With my sister, I am praying for a miracle and preparing for anything. Thank Heavens I remembered how much I love her.


Sandy Young said...

I am sorry that your sister is not well, and has given up. I worry so about my siblings! I am the oldest, and as I have watched my family die, person by person, I know that now it our generation that will begin their march. I dread the time when the phone rings and I hear something about one of my family members that I cannot deal with. I don't know if I can deal with the demise of any of them. I am the oldest! I call DIBS!

Robin said...

That's just it. I am supposed to go first. This is just like do something before I do. (private joke between us) I think I will take a long weekend and go up. Not this one but the next. I sent Debby some $$ and she is getting some things to make Susan's life a little easier.