The beautiful woman in the picture above is my big sister.
If you met my sister you probably would never know she was sick with a terrible disease like, advance cirrhosis of the liver.
Here’s a question my sister faces pretty often in her daily life. But you don’t look sick!
See one day she was going along with her life as she always had. Going to work, caring for her family and grand children, then she became so very ill and ended up in the hospital. While she was in the hospital and having many test done, this is when she found out she had cirrhosis of the liver. She had no idea she was that sick. She hadn’t felt herself for about a year. She was battling excruciating back pain, and side pain. She has never been the type of person to complain or whine if she isn’t feeling good. So no one had a clue how much she was suffering in silence. That’s why when she ended up in the hospital so sick, people were in shock. Because she didn’t LOOK sick. When she was released from the hospital, family, friends and co-workers started coming to visit her. The first thing out of their mouth was, “You don’t look sick.” my sister shook her head, then said, “how do they expect me to look?” I could tell this was becoming frustrating for her. Because only a small few knew what it took for her to look the way she does each morning. I am one of the those few.
It’s amazing what eye concealer, foundation, eye make-up, a bot load of medication and a great attitude can do. It’s not until my sister gets home from work, do you see the tiredness in her eyes, her walk is slower and the pain has set in with a vengeance. And only then is when you know how sick she really is. Some mornings I find her sprawled out on her bed unable to get up, because she has just thrown up for the umpth time. I suggest to my sister, ” why don’t you call in today? Even God took a day off.” but no, that is not my sister’s style. She’s to busy worrying about Christmas coming. Always trying to help the other person, never thinking of her self first. I know people mean well. They don’t make that comment to upset or hurt her. Maybe they feel if they say it enough, it might, will the disease away. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The longer she lives with this disease, the more I realize how true that statement is.
It seems we have all been waiting for this call for a very long time, but when it finally arrives you can’t believe the words that you hear on the other end of the receiver. Someone pinch me! Is this a dream? I can hear the phone ringing and wonder, who can that be? Awe, it’s my sister Olga. The same one you see holding my hand in the picture above. We were so young back then, and had no idea what kind of life would be handed to us down the road. Life seemed so easy and carefree. We never dreamt we would be facing a challenge like Advance Cirrhosis of the Liver.
But she says with excitement in her voice, “sister! Joe Kerns left a message with another nurse, to give to me before he left on his vacation.” I asked, “what did he say sister?” (we don’t call each other by our names. We have always referred to each other as sister) Sister says, “I have been accepted by the Transplant Team!” I can hear her excitement in her voice, and I know she can hear the excitement in mine. I am overwhelmed with emotion. We both are! We both knew there was a chance she might not be accepted. But instead we had great news! I let sister know that I would be letting everyone know the good news. As soon as I got off the phone I closed my eyes and said, “My Heavenly Father, thank you.”
Footprints in the Sand
One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
My sister Olga is fighting the battle of her life, she has cirrhosis of the liver, advance stage. You would think this would change her in some way, but no, she still wakes up with a smile on her face. I saw life through different eyes today after said to me, “Sister, if I was told I had only six more months to live, I wouldn’t just lay in my bed and feel sorry for myself and give up. I would get up and live my life to the fullest.” What an incredible lady she is. I’ve always been proud of my sister, but today I am in awe.