|PJ last Thanksgiving|
I stopped what I was doing and got on the phone, learning that my sister Norma Jean had decided to fly to Texas to be with the family during this time. I decided to stay put until I learned more. This morning PJ was subjected to a cardiac catheterization to find the extent of the damage. She already had several stents that have been in place for years. The procedure found the stents to be occluded, and that there is nothing further than can be done surgically. Her heart was apparently not significantly damaged by the heart attack; she just doesn't have much circulation left. She's diabetic, which has probably contributed to her condition. So, the story is that she is out of the woods, in terms of being past a critical phase and out of the unknown.
We will all die someday, but it's been more than fifty years that all six of us, my siblings, have shared the planet together, and the illness or loss of any one of us will change our relationship to all of the others. We were together to celebrate Thanksgiving this past year, as well as to mark my seventieth birthday and our youngest sister Fia's fiftieth. Almost exactly twenty years separate oldest to youngest. I was seven when PJ was born.
I've never been close to PJ, really. Norma Jean and I were two years apart, and PJ was just too young to join in our play. I left home at 18 and she was only 11. My childhood memories hold little recollection of PJ. And then she grew up and got married and had kids. I would see them when I went home to visit my parents, along with my other younger siblings. I was more like an aunt than a sister, and I was going through my own tribulations. We saw each other at holidays, family gatherings, and memorial services. But the shock of thinking of PJ being so ill has propelled me into another kind of understanding: that she is very important to me. I need to let her know this, so here I go.
PJ, you and I have never known how to communicate intellectually. We seem to rub each other the wrong way. But I do know we connect heart to heart, deep inside the genetic makeup we share. You remind me of Mama sometimes, and you sometimes smile in a way that resonates very deeply within me. I am sorry for the times when I have been impatient with you. I wish I could sit and laugh with you at the silly things that have kept us apart. I would like to release the past and start a fresh page. Are you willing?
There, I did it. PJ will be treated with medication and hopefully will be stabilized for the near future, but it is my fervent wish that we are able to see each other again and have a big bear hug. Nobody knows what the future holds, and all I can do is hope.
oh, djan, this was a very meaningful post. i hope pj will be okay, again!ReplyDelete
being the youngest of 8, i can relate to not knowing my siblings very well - then finally, i moved 1100 miles away from home when i was 20 so by the time i had the chance to forge an adult relationship with them, i lived apart and rarely saw them.
i lost a sister when she was only 47 and i was 37. it forever changes your family, indeed.
bless you all.
Beautiful post. I am sure it will bring a smile to PJ. Sometimes we wait too long to tell the ones we love how we feel.ReplyDelete
This was a heart-tugger, my friend.ReplyDelete
I'm glad that your sister is out of the woods. Know that I will continue to pray for her and for you and your siblings.
Sending you hugs and wishes for a very blessed Easter, Jan.
ah, i hope she is...and that this gives the opportunity for it to happen between you as well...oy...i am sorry she went through that and you as well...but if it brings you closer...well i can hope...smiles.ReplyDelete
Lovely words you sent your dear sister's way, DJan. I hope she will be well and that you and she will share many a smile and hug.ReplyDelete
Jan, I am always uplifted by your words. They often strike home. Best wishes for you sister.ReplyDelete
I have a feeling that PJ will be more than willing to let bygones be bygones. In the end, you are sisters. Continuing to keep you all in my prayers.ReplyDelete
I would like to read more posts like this one in families. I hope you can begin to build a new relationship. I had an older cousin I thought a lot of but only saw occasionally. Late last year she called me from Texas & we had a wonderful visit. About two weeks before Christmas I called her & again had a good visit. She ended by saying she would call me next. At Christmas she was killed in a car wreck.ReplyDelete
In the day-to-day world it's sometimes difficult to get past those little things, but your message is an inspiration and maybe even a roadmap to becoming closer. All the best to both PJ and you.ReplyDelete
Great to hear that PJ is out of the woods. It's quite a relief. Some good has come out of it where you sit down and look at your relationship. I would think many of us have such relationships that we carry o with.ReplyDelete
Sending hugs to you and to PJ. My (half) brothers are all a lot older than I am, and I really didn't know them growing up. I am close to the youngest of them, because we share a very similar sense of humour. The other two? If they were not family I would probably have nothing to do with them. But they are family, and that matters. And I realise more as I get older just how much it matters.ReplyDelete
I can relate to this post on many levels. I do hope you reconcile with your sister before it is too late. Blessings to both of you.ReplyDelete
It has to be such a relief that she is stable and while surgery is out, meds can do wonders these days putting a life back on tract.ReplyDelete
I do hope you two can bridge the gap and perhaps become closer. So glad you made the move to reached out. Well done.
DJan, I'm so glad that your sister is out of the woods. And I will continue to send good thoughts and prayers your way.ReplyDelete
There were only 3 of us; my older sister, older brother, and myself. My sister married when I was 10 so we didn't really get to know each other until we were both grown... and then she died just as we were beginning to enjoy the relationship. My brother and I were closer (4 years apart). He could really make me laugh. I'll never really get over his death. But yes, make the most of your relationships while you can.
Beautiful post! I'm glad she's out of the woods!ReplyDelete
Oh how could she not adore you..I pray that she will recover and accept your out stretched hand. Sending you a hug:)ReplyDelete
Reach out until you find her and don't let go.ReplyDelete
In my family I was second oldest of seven. I never really knew my youngest sister. I left home to go to college two hundred miles away while she was growing up. I stayed permanently in Seattle. My sister ended up in a troubled life, estranged from the family. She died of alcohol poisoning at age 33. I never knew her.
Oh, dear! I am so sorry to hear about PJ and her health setback. (I thought the first news I would see from you would be about yet another mountain climbed.) I hope he recovers well, ad that you do, too.ReplyDelete
Blessings and Bear hugs!
P.S.: As you can see I've just come out of hibernation; I cannot think or type clearly. ~ BearReplyDelete
What a great heartfelt post. Your siblings are lucky to have you. I'm glad to know PJ is out of the woods and that you've let her know of your love for her.ReplyDelete
I left a similar message on my older son's Facebook page. I commented that our last couple of online conversations have been a little strained, like he has something on his mind, and I asked if he'd be interested in talking about it on the phone. So far, I haven't heard back. But I offered.ReplyDelete
My only sister is seven years younger than me. We were never close until our mom died five years ago. Now we're in touch nearly every day. I laugh more with her than anyone else in the world.
This is beautifully written, DJan. So honest, so forthright.ReplyDelete
I relate on some level with my own relationships with my siblings.
I'm glad your sister PJ is out of the woods, and hope you guys get the moment together that you're looking for to set you on the path from here forward.
You have suffered a jolt and it hurts doesn't it. I suffered similarly once with my Dad so I know what you're feeling. I hope your sister gets to read your post because it will mean a lot to her and it can't have been easy to write. When I was a young mum walking to school every day with the children, I shared a walk with my friend. We used to talk about our first tragedy, meaning who in our families would be first to die or become very ill and 'out of it'. As it turned out, it was her father who suffered a heart attack some months later. We found that we could draw comfort from the fact we had discussed this situation and although it didn't make it go away, it helped her and later on, when it was my turn, it helped me too. I hope you have a good outcome!ReplyDelete
What a gift you've given PJ and yourself. Hope she thrives as well as your relationship.ReplyDelete
Indeed. And it's so much harder when family is scattered far away..ReplyDelete
Thank goodness she's doing OK now. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to my brother. He's my rock. I'll bet PJ will love this post too.ReplyDelete
Siblings...relationskips...family. It 's complicated & messy & misunderstandings run rampant. You explain it well. I hope you & PJ have more time together.ReplyDelete
It's good to hear your sister is out of the woods and can be treated with medications instead of surgery. Your words to her are very touching.ReplyDelete
I am the oldest of three girls, my two sisters are 9 and 15 years younger than I. Time and distance have kept us from ever being close but we would be there for each other if necessary.
"Out Of The Woods" - a term we heard a lot growing up and still do; whether it was said about the animals round the farm or people - "Out Of The Woods", was always a good thing to hear. I do hope after that loving, open note to your Sis, that it is able to forge an adult response of love and affection and take those prior not so great communications "Out Of The Woods". Well done DJanReplyDelete
Dear DJan, I just came from your other blog and I'm so glad to discover that PJ was out of the woods by this past Tuesday. I hope the prognosis continues to be good.ReplyDelete
I'm happy for you that you have realized, while there's still time to do something, that your younger sister means so much to you. I so hope that the two of you will reconnect in a meaningful way. That would surely be a blessing for both of you. Peace now and ever.
Your courage and your love have come shining through in this post as you have reached out to your sister to close the gap between you. Families dynamics are so difficult that sometimes the dynamic takes over when the love and genetic ties should dominate. Age differences, distances between our beliefs and approaches to life can divide before we realize what happened or how it happened. I have seen this in my family of origin and among my children.ReplyDelete
I am reading this post days after it was written. I pray you and PJ can heal the distance between you. I am sending you my love and my admiration. I am sending PJ thoughts of healing. Blessings...
As you k now I've been very busy moving and will now try to catch up. This is so very touching. I hope to hear more about how PJ's doing. And I admire your open plea to be together now more than ever.ReplyDelete
Again my comment is gone. Have I done something to hurt your feelings or written something that was offensive? If so I am so sorry! I admire what you do and you post such lovely interesting things.ReplyDelete
Please let me say how much I hope all goes better for PJ.