I Believe in Making My Life Count for Something

Marilyn - Oak Grove, Minnesota
Entered on September 25, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in the gift of life. I was born in 1950 as half of a set of twin daughters, my sister being older by 15 minutes. My family tells me that all our childhood life, I was the one who was always behind her, supporting, encouraging, helping. We shared a womb, parents, a bedroom, a younger sister, and everything else. We could not share in death. My husband and I moved our family to Minnesota in 1978 to be near my twin sister. My husband joked that it would be cheaper to move closer to my sister than to pay the phone bills. A month after we settled in, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and as the medical records would reveal to us later, her doctor knowingly described her to another physician as “a most unfortunate lady.” I was there to care for her after her radiation treatments which made her violently ill. She underwent chemotherapy in the last stages of her disease. Our families joined forces to care for her house, our house, her children, our children, and we rejoiced in the times that she enjoyed a short remission. She died thirteen months after her diagnosis at the age of 29. I turned 30 and for the first time in my life, had no one to share my birthday.

I am now trying to support my younger sister in her struggle with breast cancer. She has been battling cancer now for 11 years. I find myself researching her treatments, her stage of cancer, but ultimately not having any more answers for her than I did for my twin sister. I just know that I don’t want to lose her too, I don’t want to be an only child. I have questioned why the two of them, and why not me? I ask that question when I know they have not. But because of what they have endured, I have to find the purpose and meaning of my life. It must count for something.

By God’s grace I have been spared. Am I missing the point that I am suppose to do something remarkable with my life. I chose to believe that my purpose may be to do what I have been doing, support them, love them, and try to be the best person I can possibly be. I feel I owe that to them. I dare not waste my life or spend my time here foolishly and not make it count for something.