Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Putting Things Into Perspective

~My sister & me ~

This morning I will get up and carry on with my usual routine ...

Shower, coffee & breakfast, let the dog out and be off to work. I never knew how much I took these normal everyday things for granted. Never realized that I am truly very lucky to be able to get up and live a "normal life".

For while I am carrying on with my morning my sister will be undergoing surgery. Many of you know that my sister had a massive stroke 3 months ago. She went from being a perfectly healthy woman to becoming paralyzed and unable to speak in an instant. She spent 2 months in the hospital receiving physical, occupational & speech therapy six days per week. It is very hard work and the progress is very slow. She was moved to a sub-acute care facility one month ago to continue therapy.
She is now able to say more words, but is a long way from being able to communicate well. She can now move herself from bed to her wheelchair by herself, but is still a long way from being able to walk. Today her surgery will be to replace the portion of her skull that was removed 3 months ago to allow room for her brain to swell. The doctors feel that the swelling has gone down enough that it is safe to replace the skull.

Every morning when I wake up, my sister is the first thing on my mind. I wonder what she really thinks about all of this, I wonder if she is in pain. I think of how hard life has become for her. I think of her waking up in a strange bed with a 91 year old roommate. I think of how it must feel to have to count on somebody else to give you a shower, drive you where you need to be and make your decisions for you. I wonder what it must be like to go through this and not be able to tell anybody what you are feeling or what your needs really are. I think of how hard this would be for anybody, but especially someone as independent and smart as my sister.

I can't really know what life is like for her right now, but I feel pretty sure that the small things I so often take for granted would be pure bliss to her.

When she last came to visit my mom & I it was in March. When she saw that my mom is now wheelchair bound, it was hard for her at first. In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined that the next time I saw her she too would be in a wheelchair.

I guess the point of my post is that as often as I have heard it said that we should treasure each day because we really don't know what tomorrow may hold ~ I now believe it!! And if I ever start to forget I just think about how quickly everything changed for my sister and it puts things in perspective real quick.

So, this morning as I stood by the window gazing into the beautiful blue sky & breathing in the cool, fresh air... I gave thanks for so many things in my life and I said a prayer that my sister's surgery would go smoothly and that she will make a full recovery and someday soon be able to have the freedom to experience a "normal day" once again.


  1. It is early on Wednesday morning as I sit here before my little black computer, with my hot cup of coffee, hoping for an opportunity to read a few posts before beginning my busy schedule of the day. I see you posted a new post and I eagerly visit your blog. I see a picture of two beautiful ladies and I carefully read the words that you wrote. This is the most meaningful, most heartfelt, saddest, and most tender post that I have ever read. It hit heartstrings that I did not even know I had in me. I cannot tell you what I felt as I read through each word and paragraph, but I can tell you without a doubt, that my thoughts and prayers will be with you, your sister and your families on this operation day. And, I also can tell you that my outlook on this day will be totally different because of your reminders of just how fragile each of our lives and our health are. Beautifully worded, from the heart post! My prayers are with both of you beautiful women.

  2. Kim, I hope that your sister is able to sit and read this post with you one of these days. I will say a prayer for both of you. Remember that people really do come back to wellness from terrible illnesses.

  3. Kim, I agree with Judy; your post has set the tone of my day. As soon as I read it I bowed my head and prayed for the success of your sister's surgery and recovery, for your mom during her difficult days, and for you- comfort, faith and consolation. God can seem so far away at times but He promises He's not. These are indeed difficult times for you and I will continue to lift your family in prayer as we wait for news. How sweet the simple things become; you're so right.

  4. Isa. 41:10 says "Do not fear for I am with you, do not anxiously look about you for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with MY RIGHTEOUS right hand." Praying you will know further this promise, and that your sister will find restoration in Him; I'll say a prayer this morning,too, for your peace and for the skill and wisdom of the doctors....and that God will restore your precious sister. thanks for sharing from the depths of your heart!


  5. Oh, Kim! I'm actually crying; it reminded me of my mum and all the questions I had of how she might be feeling and how much she was suffering... My prayers are for your sister. Sorry, I can't write more right now.

  6. That is sobering, Kim. Life can change in an instant and everything we know to be true is different. I'm so sorry for what your sister is going through and will keep her in my prayers. I have a sister that I am very close to....I'll pray for you both.
    Your NC friend

  7. Hi Kim
    My eyes filled with tears as I read this blog about your sister because I have a sister too and I can imagine how hard it would be if she were in the same situation as your sister. I join my prayers to yours for a successful surgery and a full recovery. I will be praying for the rst of the family too.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  8. Kim your loving post has stopped me in my tracks this morning. I will be thanking God for all things, as I remember your poignant words.

    I know you must treasure the visit with your sister in March. The picture of two sisters is so beautiful!

    My prayers, thoughts and love are with your sister, the surgeon and all of your family.

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!!


  9. I will pray for you and your sis. Mine is asleep on the sofa right now. She got off work at 2a.m. and came over here to turn and change mom for me so I could sleep the whole night and she is going to stay the day so I can run errands. She will stay again tonight so I can sleep all night again. It is her only night off this week. Than it is back to work for her. She gives up her night off for me. God Bless sister's. I pray yours is up and around very soon.

  10. So glad you shared this beautiful photo. Now I have faces in mind when I pray. What a beautiful, tender and heartfelt reminder for all of us today. Thank you Kim. It is amazing how fast our lives can change. Praying your sister's surgery is successful and also that her continued progress and recovery is full.

    Blessings to you...

  11. I hope and pray all goes well for your sister and she makes a full recovery in time. I pray every morning for her and your family!! Today I pray also for the doctor that God will guide his hands.

    Your post makes us all stop and think how we take every day blessings for granted when each day in fact is a gift from God.

  12. You are so right about living each day to the absolute fullest. October 31, 2006 my life changed forever....and it can happen to all of us. We take the normal so for granted...which is a good thing...but when normal is gone, it is a hard pill to swallow.
    I am so glad your sister is doing better and pray for her recovery.

  13. Kim, I haven't been following you very long, so I don't know the whole back story, but I am so sorry for your sister. She is so lucky, though, to have you. She looks like such a young and beautiful woman, you wouldn't expect something like that. You're right, life as we know it can change in an instant. Because of your post today, I now appreciate this day and this morning I was feeling sorry for myself over what now I know were some very dumb reasons.
    Thanks for sharing, and good luck and prayers for your sister.

  14. This is only my second visit to your blog, Kim, but this beauitful tribute to your sister touched my heart. I will add her to my prayer list. I hope her surgery went well today and that by God's grace she will recover her strength and speech. (((hugs)))

  15. Hi Kim,
    It's so true! We need to be thankful for each day that we have and live like we are thankful.
    I've prayed for your mom and sister. I need to include you, as well. I know it's not easy seeing loved ones suffer.
    My sister and brother are fighting cancer, as well as my good friend, Ceekay.
    We need to lift each other up.

  16. Kim,

    I wish you and your family only great blessings. You've been through so much and sometimes it's harder on a caregiver than a patient. I've learned to live each day as though it was my last and appreciate each and every part of my day....good and bad.


  17. Just seeing this now, but hopefully better late than never, to add my am sending my good wishes for your beautiful sis to be well and whole again. It will take time, but with the love of your family and friends I have a good feeling she will come through this.

    With love and hopes of healing soon - and you take care of you too!

    Hugs - Mary


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