For three weeks minus a weekend, my sister has cared for my every need, often without my asking.
She refills my coffee cup, water bottle and wine glass. She now expertly wheels me in and out of the house and knows just how to help me get in and out of the car. When I wake up feeling achy, she massages my shoulder and helps me stretch my glutes. Without complaint, she dumps the icky contents of my flushable port-a-potty, an improvement upon the bedside commode but still a piece of equipment that needs maintenance beyond my abilities.
For three weeks minus a weekend, she put on pause her own life in order to help me with mine. She took leave from work without pay. Left her girlfriend, dogs and routine to be my personal caretaker, home health aid, nurse, massage therapist, healer, shrink, chef, chauffeur, housekeeper, hairdresser, cheerleader, and more.
Living my life, she wakes the boys up and gets them off to school. Reminds them to brush their teeth. Washes their laundry even though they are fully capable of managing the chore. Feeds them. Ribs them. Loves them.
For three weeks minus a weekend, she has had coffee ready when I got out of bed. A master with eggs and whatever contents of the refrigerator need to be eaten, she prepares my breakfast. She composts and recycles without my having to ask. She washes and styles my hair, even giving me beachy waves one night, prompting Jack to give me the only hair compliment I’ve ever received from him.
For three weeks minus a weekend, we have laughed and cried together over insurance company ridiculousness, heart wrenching books, ugly sutures, crazy cat antics.
For three weeks minus a weekend, she has been my near constant companion. But for a lifetime, we have loved each other deeply, and I know she has not done a single thing for me during this time that I wouldn’t do for her.
My sister leaves me tomorrow, but I know in our hearts, despite the mileage, we won’t be far apart. Part of her lives in me and me in her.