I don't talk much about my sisters.
Not because I don't like them but because sometimes being their sister is hard.
Sometimes it is the hardest thing I have to do in my life.
Both of my sisters have pretty significant life challenges.
My older sister, Vicki, was born mentally impaired and with cataracts on both eyes.
They had to remove her lenses when she was small and she wears really thick glasses.
We grew up fairly normally.
We grew up fairly normally.
We played outside together, we went to the same school (for a little while) and
I thought I had a pretty normal life.
My younger sister joined our family when I was 9 and Vicki was 12.
She had a really high fever in the incubator and was left with some damage to the motor section of her brain, (Cerebral Palsy) and slight mental impairment.
So you see, a typical family, right?
About a year after our sister was born, things changed significantly.
Vicki left for school in the morning and when she came home she was completely different.
So different in fact, my mom thought someone
had given her drugs on the field trip to the park that day.
Turns out she had developed Schizophrenia.
I will not make you suffer through all the trials and tribulations of what happened after except to say those years were really rough for our family.
Finding a new "normal" was not easy, and I am not sure we ever really did.
Eventually, my sister found her way to an Adult Foster Care (AFC) home
with some really great and caring people.
She had developed some pretty severe bi-polar on top of everything else and the depression is unmanagable expect for using ect (electro convulsive therapy) every three weeks.
My younger sister is another story.
She was cared for by my parents and waited on hand and foot.
It was not until after my mom passed that she had to learn how to do much on her own and it still was not much.
My dad did a LOT for her and she was not very nice to him.
She seems to be emotionally stuck at somewhere in middle school age.
She is very verbal so folks think she knows how to do way more than she does.
So a few years before my dad passed away I was working to get her into an apartment, when it was clear I was going to have to move my dad into somewhere he could be watched more closely and eventually to a place closer than 3 hours away from me!
Hubby and I drove to Grand Rapids every week to take care of him but
clearly once a week was not enough.
It has been no small undertaking to get her into a place where I could get helpers for her.
Now she is settled in and we have been working on
becoming aware that other people exist for things other than her.
Teaching someone how to become less focused on themselves is not easy.
I thought I was done raising teens, but NOPE! It is slow going but some progress is being made.
I promised my dad I would take care of "the girls", that it was ok for him to go.
So now I have two more people to take care of.
My older sister is really not much work at all. She is in a great place with great people.
All this being said, I had a really good visit with both sisters this past week.
Both are in good places in their lives (for them) right now.
With this post, I would really like people to remember to be kind to one another.
You never know what someone else is dealing with in their life.
Spend time with your family, even if they are difficult.
You only get one family. Be the good in their life. Lead by example.
This is Vicki, happily putting out the laundry and moving it around.
We both have a love of touching fabric!
I thought I needed a picture of the tow of us together.
I'm sorry this was so wordy, but I needed to talk. Have a happy day!