Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life is a Struggle...

The last few weeks have been a struggle for me.

My youngest sister passed away at 39 years old.  Up until recently she lived with me, my other sister and their two daughters.  Sadly she died alone, in her small apartment away from family and friends.  As young children we shared many happy times.  But as we got older she became more distant.   Our relationship was strained, I never gave up hope we would repair the damage that tore our family apart.  Much to my regret it was not to be.
She left behind a beautiful, loving daughter.  She struggled with being a single parent.  My sister and I were there to help, but it's not always enough.  She survived kidney cancer, but struggled with substance abuse and mental health problems.  There were times I felt so lost and helpless, she wouldn't let me help her, no matter what I tried to do.  

My niece has been living with my sister and I for quite some time.  It broke my heart when I had to tell this sweet, loving angel that her mother passed away.  I know she is struggling too, she keeps telling me how mad she is that I ruined her most perfect day.  We decided to make a memory quilt together, we've started collecting fabric from some of her mom's clothes.  One of her shirts had a beautiful poem about butterflies on it, this will be the center block.  My niece is very excited about remembering her mom this way.  

Life is full of struggles and hardships.  Sometimes we overcome them, sometimes they get the best of us.  Right now my daily struggle with Myasthenia Gravis seems very small when I compare it to the struggle of an eight year old coping with the death of her mother...

My sister is resting in heaven now, there are no more struggles for her.
Rest in Peace Nickie


  1. OH, Rachel. When did this happen? I am so sorry! I love you and I'm so sorry you have to go through this. You are like a big sister to me (I'm the youngest of 5)...My heart is just breaking for you and your niece. I love you. Praying.

  2. Rachel, I'm so, so sorry about the loss of your sister. I cannot imagine going through that kind of a loss. I'll be praying for you and your family as you make your way through this difficult time. You'll be in my prayers.

  3. keeping you in my, mar

  4. Rachel, I was so very sorry to hear about the loss of your sister.

    I can't even begin to imagine the pain you are in right now. Your niece is very lucky that she has you and your sister to look after her. Although she has lost her mother she will never lose her connection to her by having you two raise her.

    The memorial quilt sounds fantastic a labour of love which you can use to talk about and remember your sister.

    Thinking of you and your family


  5. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. It's been especially difficult for my niece, but she's strong. She's been through so many things in the last year, my heart aches for her!

  6. You were inspired to make a memory quilt with your niece1 It will hopefully be the means to some healing. You are both in my prayers.


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