Today the Court awarded me Guardianship and Conservatorship for my little sister—my baby sister.
I had been the baby for two and one-half years when my sister made her appearance. She was born at home, as were the rest of us, with the doctor in attendance. In fact, she was born not five miles from where I sit at the moment.
After her birth, when I was first allowed on my Mama’s bed, Mama pulled back the corner of the blanket which swaddled that little package snuggled in her arms, and I saw that tiny creature for the first time. I was delighted. Bubbles of joy escaped, as I clapped my little hands crying, “See, I told you I’d get me a rubber baby.”
“Bottle Tot” dolls were all the rage back in the late thirties. Made of heavy molded rubber, she cried, drank her bottle, wet her diaper and went to sleep. You could bathe her with soap and water and powder her with talcum. Advertisements touted her as a doll that was so much like a real baby that every little girl would think there was a new comer in the home.
I sort of turned the thinking around believing, for a moment, that the real new comer was the dolly I so longed for. When I discovered that this doll really did cry and wet her diapers, and that she occupied too much of my Mama’s time, my joy evaporated. “I don’t like her,” I sobbed. “Just kick her out the window.”
Before long, however, I was madly in love discovering that a real little sister was a better playmate than any toy. I remember her as a chubby, blue-eyed toddler with a mass of curly hair. We were little girls together at home, after our siblings were grown and gone. We played together, and slept together. Our lives were and are so entwined it is as though we are joined at the hip.
I have always been there for my sister loving her and protecting her. When I was in second grade and she in kindergarten, at recess I found her, led her around by her chubby little hand and pushed her in the swing. Her teacher told our mother that she would never learn anything, if I didn’t leave her alone. Through the years, no matter where around the world I was, in times of need, my sister called.
Now the unexpected, the unplanned, certainly the unwanted has happened. My sister is no longer able to take care of herself, so it is only right that I become her guardian and assume the responsibilities that implies.
Now, that’s easy to say, but at the same time, there is a sense of resentment that creeps in, for this is not the way I planned it? No! Having worked hard all my life, I thought by now I would be “footloose and fancy-free.” My sister and I would be the two prettiest old women in town having the time of our life traveling the world, doing things, laughing and playing and loving each other. In fact, I imagined that she would take care of me in my old age. Alas, that is not to be.
Plans and dreams of a lifetime are often shattered by the unexpected. A loved one dies, a relationship is shattered, a fortune lost, and we are left forlorn and confused, and sometimes, resentful.
When Cecil and I married on February 9 four years ago, we looked forward to a cloudless future. That optimistic expectation came to a screeching halt five months later, when he was promoted to heaven.
I have learned that it is not the enormity of the tragedy that determines my future, but rather, my response to that unexpected event.
My sister’s illness and Cecil’s death were certainly not crises for which I was prepared. However, I have learned that God is never surprised by anything, nor is He unprepared.
When the unexpected comes, God doesn’t say, “Oops, I wonder how that happened? No! He says, “I knew all about this before time began. I am here to comfort and strengthen you. Take my hand and I will walk you through this and bring you out in triumph better and stronger than you ever were.”
Feeling sorry for myself I can nurse my resentment, or I can turn it over to God and trust Him to accomplish His will, for He does have a purpose in all of this.
Job said, “…He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10.
II Corinthians 1:3-4. (The Message) “All praise to the God…of all healing council! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times…”
The sun will come out tomorrow!