Thursday, August 12, 2010

Angels and Families

I woke up today and looked at my phone. It is my usual routine when I wake up. I check my email and check up on facebook. BUt this morning, once i turned my phone on the only thing I noticed was the date. August 12, 2010. Too most it is just another day. And honestly, for most of my life it has always been just another day. But this year everything was different.

Not everybody knows this, but I actually have 2 sisters. My sister Michelle, is married with 5 kids and lives in Loveland, CO. BUt I have another sister. Shirley Anne was older than me. She as born on August 12, 1974. Today would have been her 36th birthday. Shirley Anne was born with a condition call Anencephaly. It is a neural tube defect affecting the top of the brain stem and the brain and skull don't develop properly.  If you want more info, feel free to search it on the internet. Anyway, Shirley Anne was born and died the same day. I don't know many of the details, but I know that she only lived for 5 hours. She must have been one termendous spirit if Heavenly Father needed her home so quickly. We never celebrated her birthdays, but we always acknowledged them.

Well today when I woke up, I woke up with the strongest feeling of longing for my angel sister. Obviously, having been born just over 6 years after her, I never knew her. But this morning, I was almost angry that I never got a chance to know her. None of us did. Not even my parents were able to see or hold her. But I longed to have had that relationship with her, like I am have always had with Michelle. I miss Shirley Anne today. It was a feeling that I have never felt before. But the feeling was so strong that it brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to have her here to call up and talk to like I can with Michelle. Angry really isn't the right word for it, but it is the only one that i could come up with this morning. I was angry that she was taken home so soon after she was born. I was angry that my mom and dad and sister had to suffer through that loss. I was angry that our whole lives we have been short changed of our sister. I was angry that I never got to know my other sister.

What calmed me down this morning was the knowledge that Shirley Anne gets to be with mom now. And that brought up a whole new swarm of emotions. It was 4 years and 5 months ago that we lost our mom. But if they can't be here with us as a family, it brought me such comfort knowing that they can be together. They get to celebrate My angel sisters birthday together today. So Happy Birthday Sis. Today, more than any other time I can recall, I wish you were here with me.

After I settled down my emotions from all that, it made me think of Michelle and my brothers and my dad. All day today I have missed them all so much. Living over a thousand miles from my dad and brothers and 700 miles from Michelle and having a husband who is a new resident physician working mad crazy hours, I don't get to visit them anywhere near often enough. I miss them, I long to see them. I am overjoyed that I get to go to Vegas in October and spend at least 2 days with my family. I don't tell any of them nearly often enough, but I love them. I am so glad for the lives we have been blessed to share. Even in times when I whined and fought and complained about all of them at times, I can count the blessings in our lives. It has been an amazing blessing getting closer to them as I have gotten older. I feel like we are more than just family now, I think (i guess I could be wrong :) ) that we are all also friends. I love them, I treasure them and I am so grateful for all of them.

And I am grateful for opportunities that I have to reflect on my family and how much they mean to me. Even those who have left our lives for their life beyond. I love you all and can't wait til we get to hang out together in October.


Katyanne said...

I too have an older brother who left the earth at an early age, whom I didn't get to meet. He would have been 31 on the 8th. he died when he was 2. So I know exactly how you were feeling.

Michael said...

Thanks for the personal reminder of the importance of family. It was really touching! And hang in there during residency - know that others are surviving it with you. We can do it together.