Not Robbed But Complete …
To everyone who has lost someone to cancer and feels robbed, I dedicate this story of my inspiring person, my sister.
My sister was eleven years older than me. She was big sister, mentor, second mum, and in later years, friend. I was chubby and shy, and in my eyes, my sister was kind, pretty and full of life. She had interesting friends, travelled widely and told fascinating stories about what she had seen and done. She was funny and smart, always herself and never apologised for who she was. I wanted to be like her and tried to compete, but it didn’t work because I was different. Our relationship changed over the years, evolving as we both changed. I became less dependent on her and more my own person. She later went through some sad times, including two marriage break ups. She was an excellent cook and started several businesses. She had an open heart and an open home. Then, she seemed to run out of energy, become quieter and more withdrawn. She lived on her small property in Victoria, growing vegetables and flowers, and reading in the sun.
A few years ago, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. It scared everyone who loved her, but she faced it as bravely as every other challenge in her life. She went through cancer treatment that was brutal, she could barely eat and was in much pain. But after several rounds of treatment, she started to recover. On a bright day two years ago, she phoned and said she was feeling well and was planning to come and stay with me. That was a high point. We were both excited and planned her visit for the following March, but sadly, by then, the cancer had returned. She started treatment again and was too ill to go anywhere.
She never did come to visit me in Yarrabilba. Our family gathered recently to share memories of her, and to scatter her ashes. It was sad but it was also a reminder that her life was well-lived, she was well loved, and we would go on without her.
Cancer didn’t rob us; her life was completed. And my life was infinitely richer for having known her, my funny, beautiful, brave sister.
By Susan Alexander (Inspirational Writer)