This I Believe

Pat - Crivitz, Wisconsin
Entered on April 19, 2009

This I Believe

I have lived through plentiful moments of joy, sadness, silliness, and seriousness. Last year I cared for my sister during the last months of her battle with cancer. The experience was not out of the ordinary as I am a hospice nurse and I had cared for other family members as they neared the end of their lives.

What made this experience new was that I never cared for a best friend. My sister was my best friend. She was almost five years older than I was. We fought fiercely as children, yet we remained the best of friends. We were always close, but this particular time in both of our lives drew us even closer. In the days before her death, she told me things that made me laugh, cry, and get mad…some things I will take to my grave. We laughed every day until just about two hours before she died. A regret I have to this day is that I wish I had started laughing sooner.

A few weeks ago, my mom died unexpectedly. We were extremely close. She was a phenomenal cook. I will terribly miss her and her platters of Christmas cookies each year. My 8-year-old grandson told me he would make Christmas cookies with me. Bless his beautiful thoughtful heart.

Life is difficult enough and we cannot always prepare for circumstances like my sister’s or mom’s, but we can make the commitment to plan for the future. Because of my experience caring for my sister and the sudden death of my mom, I have come to realize there are many things I believe in.

• I believe my hospice experiences got me through the most difficult months of my life.

• I believe I should have had more patience with others earlier in my life.

• I believe that everyone should laugh. It is medicine for the soul.

• I believe that life is so short that we should live each day as though it is our last.

• I believe we should try harder to show others we care, and finally….

• I believe that I am a much better person for what I believe in.