She knew her sister was with her for only a short time, it hadn’t always been like that though. When she was a little girl she had believed her sister would stay forever, but that was not the case, her sister was slowly slipping away from her she could remember a time when she felt her sister would be there with her for always and forever, but that was no longer the case, her sister had a nameless disease eating at her like a monster. She could not imagine life without her sister, but it was something she was going to have to face.
‘Lorraina why is this happening to you?” Misty asked one day, but even Lorraina did not have the answers, still she took her suffering with grace.
“I don’t know Misty, but even in this I refuse to give up, I am still to young to die, but if the Lord wants to take me early then I am going to have to go, but it does not mean I need to take this lying down.”
How often had we heard Mom and Dad use that very phrase when it had applied to work, or some other area in life, but that was before Lorraina started falling, now she spent her time sitting in a wheelchair, struggling simply to live. She was a fighter that was certain, I could not have survived half of what she survived. I knew I could never be as strong as Lorraina. It just wasn’t in me, but I was grateful that Lorraina had such a presence about her, and a belief that in the end things would work out, the way the Lord had meant for them too.
I was grateful that I had Lorraina to look up to, if I could be half the person she was with all that she had faced, I would be proud. I know Mom and Dad were proud of Lorraina. She took her suffering with such grace.
Lorraina rarely complained but when she did it was not the usual why me stuff it was the little things she missed. Like the way we used to run barefoot in the grass on spring afternoons, the time we had picked wild lilies in an empty field, the little things are what she missed the most.
“I can never understand why this is happening to you, why Lorraina?”
“I don’t know why Misty I just know its happening, and its something I can not make go away.”
“I know Lorraina, I get so afraid of loosing you.”
“We all face loss at sometime or another Misty it’s a part of life, but we have faith in the Lord, and you know I am a believer so I pray that when it is my time to go, you remember that, and remember that I am free.”
Lorraina was wise beyond her years when it came to the matters of the spirit. She sounded more adult than the child that still attended Sunday School classes, with her high school classmates, but she missed out on so much of the fun, because it was a struggle for her just to pick up a pencil.
“Misty you don’t need to be afraid for me when my time comes, it may seem scary, but in most cases death is peaceful.”
‘You’re not even eighteen Lorraina, to young to be worrying about death.”
“Misty it happens everyday to people younger than you or I.”
“I know Lorriana, but you’re my sister, it does not feel right that I should have to loose you, you are only two years older than I am.”
Lorraina was looking tired all ready, so I thought I should leave the subject alone for awhile, instead I picked up the book she had asked me to read aloud to her, even reading tired her, but she loved books so much, how could I not read to her?
After a couple of chapters I knew Lorraina was drifting and decided to use the time to pray. I did not want to face loosing my sister, but if it happened I knew it was going to take time to accept this, if I could ever accept the fact that my seventeen year old sister was slipping farther and farther away from me and closer to heaven as the days past, it could be true for all of us, but my sisters death was coming far to soon in my eyes. I wanted my sister to grow old with me, but that did not look like it was going to happen at least not short of a miracle, and that was what I prayed for was a miracle.
Lord grant us a miracle, allow us more time with my sister, and allow her freedom from the pain, you still perform miracles today Lord I know that, and I know you listen to and hear our prayers, and answer them, our Pastor once told us that there are three possible answers to prayer Lord, Yes, No and Later, so I am asking you to please heal my sister and make her whole again, let her live a long life! Amen and Amen..
I felt better after praying, the prayer seemed rather selfish, but I had selfish motives, I wanted my sister with me longer. We had built so many dreams together, and it would be lonely if she did not live to see them come true . I wanted my sister to be there when I had children and I wanted to be there when she had children. I wanted her to be in my wedding and I would be in hers, but lately boys were no longer interested in her, she was beautiful and full of love but many were just afraid to get close to her, many of her friends stopped coming by, because they could not stand to see someone as young as they were suffering in such great pain, it reminded them of just how fragile life was. They still loved her, worried about her, but were afraid to get close to her. I know she prayed that they would get past their worry and their fear though because she wanted her friends back.
After my prayer I carefully took my sister out of her chair and put her on the hospital bed that sat in the room we now shared on the bottom floor. I could no longer allow her to be alone at night, maybe it was out of my own need, but I always feared something would happen to her if she was left alone in that room, especially because she now physically depended on everyone so much of the time. It was putting a toll on Mom and Dad but more so on herself because before she had been so independent.
My sister was fading and I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. I know that I would feel badly if something happened to my sister because I was not there, and so I tried to spend as much time with her as possible. I loved my sister a great deal and could not face loosing her forever. We had our arguments but they were rare.
“Lorraina are you okay?” I asked the following morning. My sister was being quiet and I worried about her. We had spent the pior day talking about life and death, worrying over what was happening to her.
“I am just tired today Misty.” My sister managed, she was having more and more tired days, I hated to see it happen to her. I hated seeing my sister fighting, struggling so much, it hurt me a great deal.
“Maybe I should let you rest.”
“No you’re fine, I am just tired, its something I have learned to get use to, I like it better with company anyway.”
“I am glad that we are able to spend some time together.”
“So am I.”
I was grateful that I was able to spend some time with my sister. I knew the moments I got to spend with my sister were precious and I was going to cherish them always, even if the Lord did grant us the miracle I had prayed for, I would remember to cherish the relationship with Lorraina. My sister was hurting and I could not do anything to ease her pain but I could be their for her, and I was going to be their for her.
I sat in the room with my sister, sharing with her stories I had written she was once the writer in the family but in a way she had past the torch on to me. Even as little children she use to make up stories to keep us entertained we often opted to listen to those stories rather than watch television, even then we knew their was something special about Lorraina, although at the time we could not have guessed just how special she really was.
I read my sister some of the story I had written to my sistyer, asking her what she thought of it feeling grateful when she told me she liked it, and gave me a few pieces of advise on how to work it into a larger piece. I prayed that Lorraina would get to see me finish the piece, I had to believe she would, that prayer was heard.
“Thank you Lorraina, I don’t know if I will ever be as good as you are.”
“Misty you already are.”
“I don’t think so.”
“I do Misty, I really do.”
I felt honored that my sister thought my writing was as good as hers. She was accomplished already having several short stories in different teen magaines, and the such. She was going to be a great author someday if they gave her the chance to be. My sister was an amazing person if I was like her in anyway it would be a good thing. I prayed for her daily, and prayed for those I loved but my faith was no where near as strong as hers. I desired to be that strong in faith, but it was just not who I was at that moment.
Lord I am so much wealker than my sister, she has such a strength about her, she may be the weak one physically but when it comes to spirtual matters she is strong, and I pray for some of that strength. I love you and I praise you.
I had gone to church from infancy, our parents had raised us to fear the Lord, but as I watched my sister slip away from me, more and more everyday I often wondered if we served such a loving and merciful God then why did he allow things like this to happen, why did he let children die, and leave those they cared about to pick up the pieces. I often asked myself those questions, but thankfully my faith was strong enough to let me to continue to believe to feel the pressence of the Lord, especially when I was around Lorraina.
Mom and Dad woried about Lorraina too, and they questioned,, I had heard them question before, they questioned why the Lord would aloow this to happen, but it was happening and we didn’t have the power to turn back the clock and go back to a time before Lorraina was sick, before this nameless disease was stripping her from us piece by piece, bit by bit. We were happy children until my sister started falling and then it got so bad she couldn’t even stand on her own two feet, then her arms were affected, each part of her body was gradually getting destroyed., and still we had no answers. It was frustrating day by day to watch her as she struggled and it left us to wonder WHY? Mom and Dad blamed themselves for what was happening to my sister, but it was no ones fault it was just happening., and we could really blame no one, but still it upset us and we felt we had to place the blame somewhere, so each one of us placed the blame on ourselves, Mom and Dad felt it was there fault, I felt it was my fault, but it was Lorraina who reminded us, the one who was hurting and suffering encouraged us, telling us it was not something we could blame on anyone but it was just something that had happened.
“I am sick Misty, but its not something we can point fingers and place the blame on somebody it just happened, I know you blame yourse,f and Mom and Dad blame themselves but I wish you would understand it is nor aomwrhing that is anyones fault, it happened, I am sick that’s the simple fact, but no one wished this on me, and I am not wearing the weight of someone elses sin, the Lord showed me that early on in this battle.”
“Lorraina, it is hard to face this, and maybe the way we cope is by blaming ourselves, I don’t really know, but we have to cope somehow.”
“The only way anyone of us can cope is by placing our worries and burdens on the Lord.”
“I know, but I still battle with the flesh.”
“Misty that’s a lifelong battle, but you have to keep battling.”