Sisterly Bonds Don’t Require Blood

I write for a living yet I was fumbling for words when I saw I had an incoming FaceTime call from my sister-in-law.


Mom must finally be coherent, I thought. That’s great news but I have to tell her about her sister. It’s been days since Aunt “Lola” died and she doesn’t know because she’s been out of it in the hospital.


I stuttered as I began talking to my mother for the first time in four days. She was gaunt but alert and seemed to be in good spirits.


If I tell her, I may dampen her mood, I thought.


I talked to her about the bills that need to be paid at her house and what kind of pudding she was eating. I babbled about anything I could until she told me she had to get off the phone soon to go to another test. So, I blurted out that there was something important I had to tell her.


She shouted, “you’re pregnant?”


I wish, I thought before I responded, “no.”


As I looked at her face I could feel emotions welling within me. My stomach flipped and my eyes watered.


I thought about all the difficult things I’d told her over the years; nothing was off limit between us. But, I didn’t want to hurt her. And, I couldn’t figure out how telling her that her last sibling had passed away would do anything but hurt her heart.


“Aunt Lola is gone,” I said.

“I had a feeling,” she muttered. “When are the services?”


“Next week,” I replied. “I’m working on the obituary and anything they need you to do, I will do. Just get well. Get some rest.”


Seconds after the call ended, my sister-in-law told me my mom got emotional and they prayed together.


I told her, I never wanted a sister; I didn’t ask for one. But, I feel so blessed to have one now who takes family and faith seriously.


#covid19 #pandemic #grief #death #loss
#coronavirus #hospital #cancersucks #mothersanddaughters #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #family #autoimmunedisease #spoonie #sisterinlaw #bonussister

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