Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Original and Still the Best

The Boys (l. to r., #1, #2, #3, #4) with their Much Older Aunt
When Boy#3 was 17 days old, he was hospitalized with RSV. At that point Boy#1 was three, and Boy#2 was just about to have his second birthday. The baby was out of the hospital but not progressing as he should when Boy#2 suffered an asthma attack (his first) so severe that it became his turn to be admitted for round-the-clock breathing treatments.Then Boy#3 was back in the hospital, again breathing erratically.

On the outside I seemed to be keeping it together. I administered epinephrine mist that turned my babies into hyped-up, trembling dynamos but kept them breathing. I cuddled Boy#1 and read stories, hoping he wouldn't catch my terror almost as fervently as I hoped he would avoid his brothers' breathing issues. I counted inhalations per minute, and called the doctor when the number passed a certain point. I did what had to be done.

But then, as soon as she could get there, my mom walked into the house. To this day I remember the sharp feeling of relief, and the thought that flashed through my mind: "Oh, thank God. Now I don't have to worry for a while."

That was the exact feeling I had when I walked into the church Saturday morning and my Much Older Sister was standing there. She has the same aura that my mother did: When she is in the room the air is lighter; everything is going to be okay.

For the rest of the morning MOS did what she always does--whatever is needed. She bantered with the Boys, who adore their aunt and think of her first when they need advice or comfort or someplace to crash. She hugged me and Husband, and handed us Kleenexes when we needed them. She arranged families into groups for photos and snapped shot after shot on the series of cameras that were handed her.

She's a school administrator so this time of year is a blur of semester-end activities and deadlines but my sister and her husband had driven four hours before 9 a.m. to be at the funeral, and would return the same afternoon. When I thanked her for coming, though, she waved the effort off as if it were nothing.

Today is Much Older Sister's birthday. I'm wishing her many more, not just because that's the ending of the song but because I don't know what I'd do without her in my life, making me laugh and holding me up and letting me believe that everything is going to be okay.

Happy birthday, J., and many, many more.

1 comment:

  1. Sara,

    Thanks for sharing these special moments with us and God bless you and yours! You and your boys, #s 1, 2, 3, 4, and especially young Lyle, are dear to our hearts.