MY SISTER JANIS – jun 2012


The second week in January, I got a call from my sister.  She was in the hospital and had signed herself in, a week or so earlier.  Now I knew she had been having a lot more pain in her back.   This had been a trouble spot for years, but when I talked to her in December, I just thought it was the same old trouble.  Now, she told me that she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  I asked her,  “How long?”

 She said, “Six months.” 

By now I was crying and hardly able to believe my ears.  My sister, my only sister, was going to die. 

I listened as she told me how she was being treated for pain, and how the cancer was in her bones.   They were giving her some radiation treatments to help shrink the largest tumor in her back and in the process were burning her and causing more pain.   I said, “I’m coming to see you.  When would be a good time?”  No one could tell me the answer to that as I talked to other family members.  They didn’t know how long she would be in the hospital or where she would be when she got out.

So I went on the Internet and looked at flights, and gave the trip up to my Higher Power. I would be guided by two things.  My schedule and when, in that window, I could find a cheap flight.  The next few times I looked at flights, they were more expensive that when I first looked.  I thought I would be flying out of Orlando but when I couldn’t find a good flight, I finally looked at Tampa.  Voila!! There was the cheapest flight so far.   So I took it. 

It turns out that I couldn’t have planned a better time.  I arrived in Tucson on the very day that she was released from the rehab place she had been in since the hospital stay.   I stayed with her for three whole days and helped her adjust to the new situation.  She was getting very weak and still in much pain.  It was as good a visit as this visit could be.

To shorten the story, I wanted to be there at the end.  I had promised her I would come back.  When it was getting close to that time, I again looked for flights, hoping to find something that would get me there before she passed.  I also wanted to participate in the services.

 Again I gave it to my Higher Power, found a good flight out of Traverse City within three days.  (I was back in Michigan.)  I arrived in Tucson twenty hours before she passed over.  She was comatose but aware enough to know I was there. 

I was so grateful to be able to say good-by once again and be with her those last hours.  I was also thankful that once again the Higher Power had led me in a way that I couldn’t have antici-pated.  I spent that week with her husband and my nieces and nephews helping to plan, and participating in the services. 

I miss Janis but have many fond memories of our times together, as she was the best sister ever.


            Palma (May ’12) adds, “I had hoped that my children might gather for my sister’s services, but that didn’t happen. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

A peaceful place in the SRF gardens.

A peaceful place in the SRF gardens.

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