Monday, July 8, 2013


He told me to make room. His sister had battled breast cancer for a year. At her year mark she was deemed free and clear of the disease. A few months after her good news her husband died suddenly. Within a year she had dealt with multiple personal trials and moved from her home into an apartment. After a particularly trying time she called Him for support and advice. We went to her home together and after talking to her for a time noticed that she didn't look healthy. She probably had not been looking after herself and was tired. He encouraged her to see the doctor. Finally, after multiple promptings she relented. When He checked back to see what the doctor had to say she told Him her cancer had returned.

As soon as He hung up the phone He called to tell me (ask, tell, it really doesn't matter), that I needed to go get her and bring her and her teenage daughter home with us. Although I understood his alarmist reaction I told Him we needed to ask her if she wanted to come, and then make arrangements for her to move. Within a week she was settled in our home. It was a stretch for our large family to add more, but no one complained. I also assume it was hard on her and her daughter. Our families did not share the same household priorities, but He tried to maintain a consistent set of rules for our home, regardless of differing points of view. This was probably more difficult for her and even more so for her daughter. With the HIPPA laws, caring for His sister was a trial. She did not want anyone to know the seriousness of her condition and it caused real frustration for those trying to care for her.

Regardless of HIPPA (don't get me started, I understand the need for personal privacy, but there are instances like this when it may cause more harm to the patient to lack information that could help the caretaker take better care of them), the oncologist told Him the cancer was advanced, but that she would hopefully make it a few more months. Defying all odds, and I think through sheer will power on her part, she lived for three years beyond her prognosis (just to see her daughter graduate high school). It was difficult for Him to watch His sister suffer, and to try and make her comfortable. However, His biggest challenge was to run interception for her, trying to keep her safe, healthy, happy, and trouble free. Beyond the added physical strain and the financial burden placed on Him, He bore an enormous mental burden. This probably took the greatest toll on Him. But it was His immediate reaction to her returned illness that speaks to who He is. He did not hesitate to step up when she needed someone. He did not weigh the pro's and cons of bringing her home. And He never wavered in His decision once He had made it. He never regretted bringing her into our home either. I know she felt safe, cared for, and loved, because she told me so. The most telling mark of His character however, is that the decision to bring her into our home and care for her was an automatic gut reaction.

He made room... more reason I love Him.

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