I am the youngest of five children who were orphaned more than 25 years ago. My dad died in 1983 and my mom died in 1986 and since then, we’ve been on our own. Perhaps too much so.
Karen, the oldest, lives not far from where we were raised; Rich lives a lot farther away from where we were raised but he’s still in Michigan. Then things get weird . . . Sue and her husband moved to Brazil (Manaus first, then Sao Paulo, then Bauru) more than 35 years ago, my sister Nancy moved to Maine roughly the same time. Me? I moved all over the place: Dallas, Cincinnati, back to Michigan for a couple of years and then, to California and finally, we’ve (Brian and I) settled into Maryland, probably for the long haul.
No, we’ve not been good about keeping it together as a family. A few years ago, that started to change and we’ve been better about it, particularly since Sue and her husband retired from mission work. We’ve been trying to get together at least ONCE A YEAR for the last three or four years– that’s all, just ONE time a year that we could share the same space for a few days and talk and reminisce and laugh and do things TOGETHER.
Over the years, we’ve aged, of course, but overall, with one exception, we’ve been average in our health considering what we younger ones have put our bodies through (Nancy and I both smoked cigarettes for a number of years). The exception is Sue. In 2004, her spleen was nicked in a surgery that didn’t involve it (I believe that was what happened either that or it exploded for no apparent reason). Because she was in Brazil and they were not as up-to-date on medicine as they should have been (that’s one of the problems with third world countries), it went undiagnosed for several days and she nearly died on us a couple of times on her way to Sao Paulo. She was being transferred because the hospital in Bauru couldn’t treat her.
When she got to Sao Paulo, she was given the proper care which brought her on the road to recovery albeit, without her spleen. The spleen is one of those organs, like your tonsils and appendix, that essentially does nothing but, without it, you can get all kinds of nasty things to go wrong with you.
This past weekend, Sue spent some time at a hospital (which we all know is a petri dish for diseases and infections) visiting with her latest granddaughter. On Sunday, Sue started vomiting and (as her daughter put it) “other problems, if you know what I mean” and was rushed to the hospital. She was dehydrated and the doctors were stumped as to the cause or treatment of her problems. The message that we received Sunday night was that they didn’t know that she would make it through the night.
I AM NOT READY TO LOSE ONE OF MY SIBLINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I heard the message, I wailed and nearly collapsed– poor Lexi didn’t know what was going on. I sat and called Karen, who had left the message, and wept with her on the phone.
I realize that there are families that are emotionally and geographically closer than our family is– almost any family I know is better at their relationships than we are– but I can’t lose my sisters or brother yet– I’m just not ready to deal with that! We are all too young, right?
Actually, we’re not young anymore. My sister, Karen, is older than either of my parents was when they died; Rich and Sue are both the ages of my parents when they died. Nancy and I are not there yet but we are pushing the age envelope.
Yesterday, I prayed and read my Bible and prayed some more and got hold of my prayer warrior friends on email and on Facebook and asked them to pray, too. I even asked Brian, my atheist husband to pray.
It seems to be working. Sue is an induced coma and has stabilized; they are going to leave her in a coma for her body to more ably fight the infection.
Please pray with me today that she can continue to fight the infection, be healed of it and recover. We have our annual get together planned for August, in Saugatuck, Michigan, and I NEED her to be there!!!!!