Today is my sister’s 60th birthday and I am going to share with you the very first post I published on The Mandy Diaries. She is such an important part of my life and I am ever so grateful to have her in my life. Her birthday manages to fall on the day in between Adrian’s death and his birthday! I won’t be able to celebrate with her in person this year as travelling to New Zealand from Australia is just not possible at the moment but I know she will have a wonderful celebration with her family and friends.
Happy Birthday Sister!
Original Post: 2 September 2014
I need to talk about my sister.
She’s quite different from me. She is shorter than me and older! She thinks before she speaks and she’s wise. She’s my only sister and because she lives in New Zealand and I live in Australia, we don’t see each other as often as we would like.
When we were kids, we shared a bedroom until she got married. We had difficult times sharing that little room! You see, my sister was bossy and tidy and organised and generally calm and quiet! I, on the other hand was sloppy and messy and all over the place. I was not calm and quiet – I was loud and in your face and played rock music all of the time.
I think we loved each other but often we didn’t like each other very much! We each just wanted our space but it was not possible growing up – so we shared. I wished she would be more like me – at least she could have liked Rod Stewart or hung one poster on our wall! But she wasn’t!
Time went by and we both grew up, married, lived in different countries, had babies, lived our lives and saw each other occasionally when holidaying. We always enjoyed being together and found we had much in common. We liked each other!
About 10 years ago, something huge happened in my life! My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer! Survival for myself and my boys became my only focus. Getting through the days, nights, hours and minutes was my goal. I couldn’t work. I wanted and needed to be there with Adrian, for however long we had.
While I was surviving those hours and minutes, life continued on. With bills to pay, food to prepare & sport practises to get kids to. But how do you do that with appointments & clinics & hospitals & radiation & chemo etc? Especially when you are sloppy and messy and all over the place.
Well, something I haven’t mentioned yet, is that my sister has a husband and they are a TEAM! She sees a need and he says GO!
bossy encouraging and tidy and organised and calm and wise! Over the final 3 years of my husband’s life, my sister came, did her thing and went back home. Only to come again and again and again …… I have lost count of how many times. Her TEAM gave of themselves in time and money and love and prayer! My sister made my three year long goodbye to Adrian manageable. She was my rock, my anchor, my strength and my eyes, ears & hands when I could no longer manage alone. After Adrian’s death, my sister continued to help with all those things that had to be done like finalising business details and eventually selling my home.
A couple of months ago, my sister & her husband came to stay with me in my new home and then we went to the beach for a few days holiday. I wanted that TEAM to stay with me just because ……no other reason. We had fun! It was to be the first of 2 holidays we were to share this year. We had not holidayed together for years.
The second holiday we had, was last month in Fiji. My sister suggested that we take our 84 year old Mum for a holiday in the sun, while we could. It was the best idea ever. There will be more posts on this another time.
What I saw in Fiji was the total love and care and organisation and encouragement my sister shares with my Mum. They live near each other and I am so glad. Not because I don’t want the responsibility but rather because I would be sloppy and messy and all over the place! Like the time in Fiji when it was my turn to take Mum to the buffet to get her dinner and I forgot about her! I was so entranced by the array of food that I left Mum at the table!! I love and care for my Mum but my sister is the BOMB at love and care!
Caring is my sister’s gift! She gives of it so freely and in a way that makes the receiver feel empowered! As family and friends of my sister, aren’t we lucky to be on her radar? We can’t repay her, but we can be more like her and maybe pay it forward.
I love my sister and I like my sister and I’m so glad she isn’t like me! But I do wish she would like Rod Stewart.