Friday, March 11, 2011

A passing

Those of you who have followed my blog these last years may remember that my older sister had open heart surgery in September of 2008. While it may have repaired her heart in some ways, she really never fully recovered. Suffering a series of cruel maladies, including dysphagia, she has slowly dwindled down to a shadow of who she once was.

A little over a month ago, she was admitted to her local hospital for pneumonia. At that time, they inserted a feeding tube in her stomach, to try to get some nutrition into her and see if her body could once again thrive. It really wasn't successful (she was down to a mere 87 lbs.). After weeks and weeks of ups and downs, she lost her battle with life in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

She was many things to many people. She was my parent's first born child. She was a big sister to two sisters and a brother. She was a mom to two sons, a wife to her husband for 52 years, an aunt to her nieces and nephews, an educator, voracious reader, avid birder, and champion of all things related to protecting wildlife and habitats. She loved sailing and spent many years, along with her husband and sons, breeding, selling and racing Siberian huskies. She was, unlike yours truly, very shy.

Yesterday I told my 5 year old grandson about her passing. He asked where she will be now. I told him she lives on in our hearts, and is watching over all of us. I know there may be more questions later, but for now, he is content with that, and I must be, as well. I think it will be some time before the reality sinks in after all these weeks of extreme worries.

She leaves behind a loving husband, many nieces and nephews, a heart broken sister, and her dog, Max. While we have to know her passing was a relief from her horrible suffering, it's not easy. It will take a little bit of work, but we'll have to all start focusing on the good times and keep her spirit alive with smiles and laughs.

I know she wouldn't want it any other way.