I have to tell you a little about my family, I am the last of 6 children and we are spread out over 16 years. I have never been really close to my siblings, mostly because of the age difference. We have also spread out all over the country. We are currently in Texas, Nevada, California and Illinois. Don’t get me wrong, I love my siblings more that you can imagine, but we are just not that close.
I have grown my bonds with my siblings over the years. Several years ago, my oldest sister was very seriously ill. All of us girls, (there are 4 in total) took turns going to stay with her to help her in her recovery. I was the last one to be with her. I spent about a month with her. I was basically her chauffeur and cook, with a little medical assistance thrown in. We got to know each other as adults during that time and I will always cherish the time we spent together.
The next sibling works in the medical field. She helped raise me for a time when my academic life was not all that good. She is a person I can always call to talk to if there is a problem. She and her husband have been a great influence on my outlook as a mother.
The last of the older girls in the family is my closest (geographically) sister. She lives about one and a half hours drive from my home. When all this started, she was “johnny on the spot” to help with getting Em from school and staying with her when I needed to stay with Den in the hospital. I will be forever grateful for her love and kindness thru all of this! Her husband is so wonderful for letting me take advantage of his wife’s generosity…he has never complained about my needing her to stay with us.
The next two siblings are my brothers. All I can say is our relationships have always been distant. At least in my opinion. We talk, but not often and when we do, it is usually not anything really personal.
Den is from a small family…just him and his sister. He has lots of cousins, but in the end it’s just the two of them. Roberta and her husband are wonderful. We all get along very well. They are warm and welcoming people who opened their arms to me the first time we met and have never turned back.
We don’t have a huge support structure, but we have support! When someone is gravely ill…love and support is needed all the time. The stress and strain of caring for someone in Den’s condition can be overwhelming. Trust me, I know!