At 3am, I lie here, and watch the nurses in their matching scrubs come in and out of your room, checking your vitals and medicine. When they would leave, I would check your breath, watch the rise and fall of your chest, your eyelids fluttering, your body responding to the dark cloud put over your undeniable light. One night, after all the nurses left, I shrugged the blanket off of my shoulder, walked to your bedside, and began my routine. Eye lids still fluttering, the occasional leg twitch. I stayed longer that night and saw the first tear you cried since you heard you were sick. Sick with cancer. And I just watched as you slept and cried. Were you dreaming? Or were these tears a result of your current reality? I looked at you and thought, “You need me more than I need you” and that lie hung in the room as your tears sat resting on your cheek, waiting, just waiting for me to wipe them away. You are the light of my life, and I don’t know when things will be okay, but I know someday we will figure it out together.
The One Thing
The One Thing: A Sister’s Love.July 22, 2014
I am so excited to introduce you all to Katie today, as she shares The One Thing that inspires her; The One Thing that has changed her life for the better.
The one thing. Whenever I am asked, what is the one thing that you love, want, chase after… I list a few. Not because I am a rebel (I am pretty much the opposite of that) but because I love, want, and chase after a lot of things in my life. But when asked what the one thing is that inspires me, my whole heart answers: my sister. My sister is my best friend. That isn’t even an accurate term, my sister is my absolute everything. My other half, the threads that keep me together; she is the reason I feel so blessed, laugh so much, and the reason I truly began my blog.
My sister and I are 11 months apart. We spent our whole lives together. My left hand was always intertwined with her right. We shared a room, would have the same dreams and nightmares, we still say the exact same things. We had a friend when we were younger who would call us katielizzie. My mom would say, “It’s Katie and Lizzie” but it never really was. We were woven together; we completed the image of sisters.
When Lizzie was 15, and I was 16, she was diagnosed with cancer. I still cry when I say this. I couldn’t make sense of it then, and I can’t make sense of it now. It’s that slow pain when someone you love deeply, gets diagnosed. The type of pain that hits you in one swift blow, but then aches in your bones when you are asleep. The type of pain that tightens your muscles as you try to relax. Lizzie had a ganglioneuroma tumor the size of a football in her abdomen. She suffered nerve damage and constant migraines and stomach pain. I would watch her and pray to God that He would just give me all that pain. I would beg Him, that He could double it, triple it, as long as she didn’t feel it anymore. Maybe God knew I needed to witness her being sick, maybe He had a plan for me to meet the people in the waiting rooms, and hospital beds, and that somehow I would find the right words, these sweet words, and let the world know.
Lizzie is healthy now for the most part, and my heart is happy realizing that the greatest gift we receive in life is someone we are terrified to lose. I want to share with you all a passage from my notebook when I was sixteen and Lizzie was in an intensive surgery at UCLA:
I started my blog to share one thing, and I pray for those who don’t know this yet, that maybe through my words they will finally see it: life is so, so incredibly beautiful. Even with the heartbreaks, the letdowns, the times we are on the floor praying for some strength, all of these crippling times are truly worth the beautiful life we are given. We all have a purpose, a passion to discover, and each day is ours to do with it whatever we want. My sister has inspired me to keep moving forward and chasing what I want.
Writing for me was a way to express these events in my journey, but it is so much more than that. It gave me hope. It gave me the right words. It let me realize that by being brave enough to share my story means that people may have the courage to do the same. With writing I have met the most beautiful people. I have fallen in love with each part of my life, and when I take a minute to write out all the words that cloud my mind, I am reminded that my story is mine to share. I used to have this fear of reliving the tough times and the hurt it would bring, but pain isn’t everlasting. Love is. Strength is. The fight we have in us lives longer than anything that could possibly hurt us.
I thank Lizzie every day for showing me that.
Katie is the amazing writer over at Life Is This. You can find her here:
*If you are interested in sharing w/ Ember Grey readers The One Thing that inspires you, you can get more info here.