My sister Kathie is one of the most kind and caring people I have ever known. She will do anything for anyone. She has stepped up to bat more times than anyone I have ever known. She has definitely earned her seat in heaven and in fact, I think she has most likely earned the seat right next to God himself.
My sister is 13 years my senior. She has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. However she treats our children just as well as she treats her own grandchildren. She spoils them. My sister is a librarian and has kept our kids reading since they were tiny. She has gone out of her way to watch all 4 kids of our children while we have gone on vacation and has even traveled to our house on several occasions to watch them. My sister has come to EVERY duty station we have ever lived (10 duty stations, 11 homes, 5 states & 2 countries). In fact the first time she ever got on an airplane was when she boarded a plan in Dallas, Texas almost 2 years ago to come visit our family in Seoul, South Korea. Yes, that was her first flight EVER. When she commits to something, she commits fully. ;o) We may not have been close when I was little (because she is SO MUCH OLDER), but I always remember her being there. She used to sit and "pick bugs" out of my hair - it wasn't until MANY years later that I found out this was the only way she found that she was able to keep me still and that I really did not have bugs in my hair. (By the way, my therapist thanks you for this.) But seriously, my sister has always there when I need something or when I just needed to talk. She has listed to me whine, cry and laugh over the years. I am a lucky girl to have someone so wonderful in my life.
Not only am I lucky to have someone so wonderful in my life, my whole family is luck to have her. We have a brother with kidney disease, he is doing amazingly well because he listens to the advice of his doctor and he does what they tell him to do. He only has 1 kidney that is functioning at about 10%, soon he will have to go on dialysis and he will be put on the transplant list. Our sister has already started talking to our siblings about being tested. My brother doesn't want to ask anyone, but our sister will make sure that everyone (there are 9 of us!) is aware and that we will be on the list to be tested, and she will be leading the pack.
Many years ago before anyone really knew what Alzheimer’s was my sister took care of her MIL (mother-in-law) who had Alzheimer’s . It was super hard for her and her husband (he also rocks...just sayin') who had 2 young children of their own during this time. My sister (and BIL - brother-in-law) is now taking care of our mother who has also been inflicted with this awful disease. My mother has been living with them for 3 years now. When I moved back to Texas last year and offered to help by taking our mother, she told me to just take care of my family. She told me she knows that I have enough on my plate and told me not to worry about our mother that they doing fine. Yes, life is hard, but they are doing fine. In my eyes my sister is a saint. She is so humble, so loving and so kind. She will ask for help when she (REALLY) needs it but I know she doesn't ask for help as often as she should. Life is not easy for her & her husband. They should not be living the good life right now - they should not worrying about getting a 'babysitter' because they want to go away for the weekend. They constantly have to worry about our mother. They never have alone time. I can only imagine that it must be harder than having an infant in the house. You don't expect anything from an infant - it's natural. The life my sister is living right now is not natural - she has had to LEARN not to expect anything from a grown woman - a grown woman that has been the center of her world for so many years, a woman that used to take care of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. A woman that is now helpless, a woman that has to be told to take a bath, to wash her hair and to go to bed. A woman that complains about living in my sister's house and how my sister is holding her hostage. A woman that complains about how mean my sister is and how she just wants to go home. A woman that was never a complainer before this ugly disease showed up. Yes it is hard on our mother too. I can't imagine not understanding, not knowing why she can't go home. Sometimes life sucks and it sucks hard. This disease sucks.
Again, I must reiterate, in my eyes my sister is a saint.
I am proud to call her my sister.
Kathie & Lee, thank you for what you do.
You both make this world a better place.