Having a sister who is eleven years younger is not always the ideal situation. Oh, it was great while she was a baby; I didn’t even mind babysitting and changing dirty diapers. By the time she was 6 and I was 17, it was a much different story. What a pain in the rear end she could be. I didn’t want to babysit; I wanted to be with my friends (or boyfriends)!
When I was 26 and she was 14, our daddy died (at the young age of 52) and rocked both our worlds. While a fairly strict disciplinarian, he was our hero and is still sorely missed. A couple of years after his passing our mother called me, upset because the little sister wasn’t home yet and hadn’t called to say she’d be late. The sister finally showed up and got to find out that while her daddy might not be there, her big sister remembered quite well all the speeches she’d received about “having the common decency to call and let us know what’s going on”. She still remembers that lecture!
Fast forward to December 2002. These two sisters have grown up, been through one bad marriage each, birthed five children between them, and become best of friends. The little sister has been suffering through some horrendous headaches and finally, through the grace of God, got a doctor to listen and refer her to a neurologist. I sat in shock as she (with her oldest daughter by her side) explained to me what the neurologist discovered. She had a mengionoma (tumor) in her brain which had apparently been growing for years to no one’s knowledge. There were no doctors in Oklahoma who would touch it.
Three days later, we (two sisters, a boyfriend, three daughters and a son-in-law) were on our way to Little Rock, Arkansas to meet with the neurosurgeon who would perform surgery to remove the tumor. We were told the surgery would take place over TWO days and that he was “hopeful” that he would be able to remove it all.
The surgery lasted in excess of 19 hours (over two days) and praise the Lord, was a success. However, me and two of sister’s daughters had to get back home before she was released from the hospital. At the time we left Little Rock, all I had heard my sister say (that I could understand) was “I’m sorry”. Leaving her was the hardest thing any of us had ever done!
Thankfully, this story of two sisters has a happy ending. It is now 2012, and my little sister is as happy as I’ve ever known her to be. She has seen all three of her daughters marry wonderful men. She reconnected with her high school sweetheart after her recovery; they have now been married six years. That blended family consists of six happily married couples, four granddaughters, a grandson on the way, and makes for one happy and blessed big sister. Shannon, I love you and wouldn’t trade any of our experiences together. They have made us what we are today.
Christi Rippetoe, of Cherokee, Oklahoma, has written our first sister story for Valentine’s week. She dedicates this to her sister, Shannon. An amazing miracle! Thank you, Christi, for sharing this with us ♥ Awesome ~