Don’t Be Afraid to Care

Don’t Be Afraid to Care

Annette (right) with her sister, Theresa.

Don’t Be Afraid to Care

Taking care of someone you love in a time of need can be sometimes scary.  I wanted to share some words of wisdom about being there for someone.

When my sister, Theresa, received her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, many things ran through my mind.  But, the one question that stuck with me the most was, “Who would take care of her?”  She was a single-career woman; she had the financial means, but would I want a stranger taking care of my sister in her last days?  In the beginning, I was nervous, but soon the urge to help far outweighed the fear.

There never was a question in my mind.  I knew I would step in and be there for her.  I kept a journal of our time together, knowing when she was gone I would have those memories.  Yet, the memories I took away were more than I could have ever imagined; something that can never be replaced.

I can remember her worrying about me and how my taking care of her might take a toll on me.  Even without any experience of caring for someone, I knew it was the best thing for her and our family.  She moved in with me and that precious time we had changed my life forever.

I put aside my fears of caring for my terminally ill sister, and embraced the journey; giving my sister laughter, love and dignity until her last breath.

— Annette