I am 27, my sister is 25. We are handling a situation with our Mom that most people our age will not handle for another 20 years or so. When they do their parents will most likely already be grandparents. Sister K and I barely know who we are as adults. We are still trying to settle into being adults, still trying to deal with the life changes that occur in your 20s post college, still trying to figure out who we are and how to function in this world. I have been married just about a year and a half and am still trying to figure out being married. Sister K is working on her Masters degree and looking for jobs. But we aren’t having a chance to completely process all of these changes in our lives. There’s not a lot of time to deal with it or a lot of space in our minds. Instead we are being handed the ultimate in responsibility people go through in life, caring for a sick parent. We are watching Dad become a caregiver at a time when we thought we’d be watching our parents travel the world. We are seeing changes in our parents’ lives, seeing changes in them as people and seeing the changes in ourselves.
Sister K and I argue about the best approaches with Mom. We defend different issues. We take turns defending Mom, defending Dad, defending life, defending our approach. We are trying to get on the same page, really any page we can figure out. Most of the time we find a page, but we aren’t perfect. We both still feel like kids. In a sense we are. I know we are 27 and 25 but we both feel like we are only 7 and 5. Mom was supposed to be immortal. If issues like this were going to arise we thought we had many years until they did. We have been handed a circumstance that would shock most people if they knew everything. But they don’t. We deal with most of it on our own. Together, but on our own.
What have I learned in all of this? Sister K is the greatest gift I was ever given. The gift of not just any sister, but my sister gives me strength in all of this. There is no way I would survive this without Sister K. I am aware of that everyday. She is the only person in the world who truly gets what I am going through. She understands every issue, every fear, every thought becuase it’s her Mom too. In moments where I look at who we have become and our relationship, I wonder if God has been preparing us for this moment our entire lives.