Friday, June 26, 2009

Bonds of the Heart

Dusk is falling slowly. Storms have blown through; the June air is cooler and lighter, and a symphony of birdsong surrounds me.

I have neglected my blog recently – the days and weeks have been busy and stressful, and I have not had the energy to write through it all.

My sister is dying – a slow and debilitating decline from cancer. Although my days are filled with tending grandbabies and keeping our family business running smoothly, my sister is constantly a sad presence in my soul. I have discovered there is an emotional bond between sisters that I wasn’t aware of until now. She is always on my mind and in my heart.

She is much younger than me, and we weren’t close at all until our mother died a few years ago. Now, I am thankful for the good years we have shared, but I am astonished at the strength of this bond I am feeling. My joy in life right now is shadowed by the knowledge that she is confined to bed, unable to move her legs, and in pain.

As I sit here tonight and listen to the tiny sparrows chattering in the ivy – a moment that fills my soul with pleasure – I think of her in her bed and feel anguish.

I loved both of my parents and cared for them as they slowly died of debilitating diseases, but my sister’s decline has been much more traumatic for me. My faith in a God who loves us and my years of gardening and enjoying the cycles of nature have led me to the acceptance of death, but, somehow, my sister’s dying is breaking my heart.

So, tonight I sit in my comfortable wicker chair –the sparrows have settled quietly into the ivy for the night, a mourning dove is cooing nearby, and thunder is once again rumbling in the distance – sounds of nature that are my delight and bring peace to my soul. I try to concentrate on the serenity of this moment in this beloved haven of mine. But, I still somehow feel my sister’s pain and anxiety as she lies in her bed across town, waiting to die --