My sister is in hospital this morning. Waiting. Waiting to be wheeled into the cold, sterile environment of an operating room where the doctors will repair the surgery she received a year ago.
The hope. This time she will be pain free. This time it will work. This time, she won't have to go under the knife again.
My sister amazes me.
She has battled crones for almost 4 decades. She has undergone surgery after surgery. Cutting snippets and chunks of her colon out of her body. She's taken drugs and tests and altered this and that and still, the disease has eaten away at her body and her spirit.
And she has never faltered.
She keeps standing up. Smiling. Moving forward.
She is amazing.
She is my eldest sister. The eldest of what was once four siblings. Jackie. George. Anne. Me.
George is no longer with us. He passed away on St. Patrick's Day thirteen years ago.
When we were little, Jackie was our caretaker, our surrogate mother. She was the responsible one. The babysitter. The keep us in line one. When we were young, my father was away. A lot. My mother, a very gentle spirit, was lost in depression much of the time and often couldn't cope with four unruly children. My sister Jackie took care of us. She fed us. Cleaned us up. Disciplined us. Got us to school. Got us to do our homework.
She didn't have much of a childhood.
And now, this past year in particular, she hasn't had much of a life. Riddled with pain and the aftereffects of a surgery that just didn't work very well, she has struggled to keep moving and doing what she loves to do. Golfing. Skiing. Visiting with friends. Cooking. Taking care of our mother. Being a great aunt. Being a great sister. Being a great friend.
And through it all, she has never complained. Never become the victim. The whiner. The why me'er.
Jackie goes into surgery this morning. The original surgery a year ago had promised to give her relief from the debilitating symptoms of her disease. This one promises to do it now.
I pray it does.
Please keep my sister in your prayers and thoughts today.