One of my deepest desires is to sit down next to my sister Tammy and tell her how she has shaped my life in such a positive way because of who she was in this life. To thank her for giving me the will, strength and grace to be a survivor no matter what circumstance I might find myself in.
My sister Tammy was 10 when she was diagnosed with Bone Cancer. A 10 year old who loved to play outdoors, an avid softball player, musically gifted and a natural “jokester.” From the moment she was given the news by my parents she became a survivor. A very wise young girl she would take on her chemotherapy and radiation with “gusto.” Giving up was not an option for her. For 5 long years she battled this disease! She battled still laughing, still loving and still surviving!
In a moment she could have just said, “I do not want to do this, poor me! Why me? Why now? But she never did; not even once! She chose to face up to this disease. My older sister lost her battle with cancer at just 141/2 years old on March 29, 1980. She lost her battle as a survivor not a victim.
That sister of mine taught my whole family that life is a choice and that falling prey as a “victim” was not an option.
Tammy possessed such great strength in this life – to boldly move through each moment of her life not knowing what she was in for next. She would always find hope and to me that was a miracle in of itself. As a very young teenager she knew her chance of living a long life was most unlikely yet she set out to live each day as if it were a marvel.
I was a child, a bystander at best watching every event unfold in her young life. I watched her battle, observed her every move and learned life through her young eyes.
The day she passed I was 12 years old. I remember promising her and God that there would be nothing in this life that I could not over come or handle. If she could go through 5 years of agonizing hell and take it all without complaint than I would graciously accept whatever challenges I would encounter in this life. I am grateful for that sister of mine. Through her life I learned to live, to not take life for granted and to always hold on to the love and not the loss.
As her life ended mine progressed. In it I took every lesson that she taught me and utilized it in my life. I got married and carried her with me at my wedding ceremony. I felt blessed every moment and was grateful for every piece of love in it.
The unthinkable happened. My husband of 1 year and 5 days was killed in a negligent car crash.
In my beautiful husbands untimely passing we were 9 months pregnant with our first daughter Madisyn Grace.
She was born just two weeks after his death. Holding on to my sister’s memory, her will to never give up, her strength and my promise to her and God kept me in motion and has to this day.
I will be forever grateful for that sister of mine. Without her insight and bravery I may have possibly folded upon the death of my husband. I will never know? What I do know is that I have been touched by such love that perseverance and resiliency are the only options in this girl’s life!
If my sister were here today I would simply thank her for being the great guru that has shaped and impacted my life in an optimistic and loving manner. Thank you my “Great Guru “ for teaching me how to be a survivor! I am grateful!
Who is/was your “Great Guru?” I would love for you to share!
This post was written for Modern Widows Magazine! What a great magazine for any one seeking …both Widows/Widowers! Please go to http://modernwidowsclub.com to find out how you can subscribe! Most Grateful, Melissa