Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Looking back it's interesting to see how our relationship has changed over the years. As little children we were playmates but, as we got closer to our teen years we began to annoy each other more and more. When she went to college she became cool again but, we still knew how to press each others buttons. I remember one night when we had both come home from college (me from Purdue, and she from that other Indiana "school") and we ran into each other on the steps to the basement (my room at the time). Neither one of us would get out of the way and we got into a loud argument. Dad (who had already gone to bed) came down stairs in his bathrobe and yelled at us to be quiet. We both looked at each other and laughed, because we had finally reached the age where our father couldn't yell at us anymore! As we've grown older we've become even more supportive and protective of one another.
Since it is her birthday (at least for another hour and a half) I want to honor her with a story of her heroic strength. I may have told this story on the blog before, but I don't think I have. I know many of you are aware of it, but I think there are several individuals who have no idea what she had to do the night of my accident.
Sarah was awakened around 1am by my friend Jamie (current roommate), who had found her number in an old cell phone that was at my house. (It's amazing that the cell phone was even working because I hadn't charged it in over a year.) He was calling her from my house so, at first, Sarah thought it was me and was very annoyed that I would call so late. (She probably thought I was drunk dialing her like I used to do in college. I once used up her entire answering machine tape (remember when they had tapes) with a drunken message. Her college roommates were not amused.) Anyway, after Jamie broke the news to her she had to get someone to come stay with Madeline and quickly made her way to the hospital, where I think she had to identify me because I was still listed as a John Doe.
Sarah was very brave. I don't really know the sequence of events but, because our parents were out of town, she had to break the news to them over the phone. Dad gave her some instructions of who to call and Sarah gathered what support she could at that awful hour. She went into whatever area of the hospital they had me in and witnessed my bloody, burnt, and broken body. I believe our minister was with her during this ordeal.
I don't know how close they let her get to me but, from what I understand, she was with me until they took me through the doors of the Operating Room for what was to be the first of many surgeries. From what I'm told I opened my eyes as they were taking me through the doors and looked right at her, I think I may have even tried to give her a smile. She sat up throughout the night with the family, friends, co-workers, and supporters who were at the hospital. I'm not really sure who all was there, or how long they stayed, but the few who I'm certain were with her have told me how strong she was. (None of this may be exactly right, as I was pretty out of it at the time.)
Several weeks later, when I awoke in my drug induced state I had things very confused, but I knew she had been with me that night. Apparently I kept thanking her for carrying me (in her arms) through the doors of the hospital. (Can you imagine what a strange sight this would be if it had actually happened?! My small sister carrying me in her arms into a busy emergency room!) I think I also kept insisting that she had been in the jeep with me when the accident occurred. I now believe that these images that were in my head are a visual representation of her spirit helping to carry me through those first early critical hours.
As I said, I love my sister dearly. I am so proud of her for what she has become. A fantastic teacher, a wonderful mother, and the best sister a brother could ever hope for. Everyday I am amazed by her strength and determination!
H and L
I see a book deal in your future filled with nothing but passion for life...and the little things along the way that make it worth living.
Thank you Jeremy for that bit of solitude I receive from your blog. It means the world....like you do to me :-)
Love you dearly even though I don't say it often or enough;
Always in my heart,
PS: Sarah ,happy birthday !!! I think I know the year.
Sounds as if she did carry you that night.
By the way-I have absolutely no memory of that fight on the stairs. I think you made that up. I do remember lots of hair pulling-boy, am I ever glad that you don't do that anymore.
For anyone who is wondering I am 35 now. I overheard the kindergartners discussing my birthday yesterday and one of them said "I don't exactly know-but I think she's about 60." Oh...the joys of 5 year olds!
OK brother-I'm taking my tired old bones to bed. (Not because I'm 60-just because it was a rough night at Pilates). Thank you again for your lovely message. I'm going to print it so that I can use it from time to time! ;-)
Love ya! Sarah
What a lovely and loving family you have!
I'll remain anonymous!
I am printing this blog entry for my three teenagers who, as we speak, are probably considering sibling murder! You and your sister give me hope for the future because I too remember a couple of ordinary kids growing up. Of course, even an ordinary caterpiller evolves into a beautiful butterfly just as you two ordinary kids have evolved into extraordinary adults. My hat is off to you and your family!
Love from Va Beach,
P.S. Have your parents considered leading parenting classes?