Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My big brother and big sister

Despite the title of this post, I basically grew up an only child. My twin half-sisters (now 20) we're born when *I* was 20 and a sophomore at Michigan State.

To what will probably be my mom's great relief, I've never regretted being an only child. I've had a few "what if" moments but I have no recollection of ever being in want of anything like playmates growing up.

However, DaHubby is number 5 of 6 siblings so, upon marrying him, I immediately acquired an older brother, 3 older sisters,and a younger brother.

Now, DaHubby and I had a whirlwind meeting and courtship. We met. Five weeks later he proposed. And, five weeks after that, I left everything I knew and had been working towards to be with him here on the other side of the state far from all my family.

The first time I met my new "big brother" was when he and DaHubby came to help me move. Those two guys went up and down several flights of stairs several times and then stood and then drove through pouring rain for nearly 4 hours to bring all of my stuff from one side of Michigan to the other. And, during the loading process, my new big brother told off a wise-cracking cranky old neighbor of mine who made some comment about me leaving.

Now, this big brother was a former Marine. And, to this day, he is one of the toughest and strongest men I've ever met. What an introduction for a single only daughter of a single mom of the awesome power and influence of a man who's been trained to defend himself and others. I had DaHubby's engagement promise and now a big brother's additional protection. I already adored DaHubby but I also adored David from that point on, too! LOL

Then, to be honest, having three new sisters was incredibly awkward at first. I had *NO* clue how this sister thing (much less this in-law thing) was supposed to work. But, to their ultimate credit and classiness, the two living locally immediately took me out shopping for my wedding dress when I first arrived despite having only met me a handful of times and they realized I had no other family living close by.

By the time of the wedding, about 8 months later, those sisters had completely spoiled me and made me part of this incredibly close-knit family. Nowadays, they also spoil the Vikings rotten - as is the job of every good auntie, of course!

Tragically, four years after our wedding, it was this Marine, the only big brother I will ever know who, following a startlingly short battle with lung cancer, was taken back to Heaven only five months after completing his first Chicago Marathon.

And, it is one of those wonderful sisters who is right at this minute laying in a Chicago hospital fighting through a 3rd week of painful "engraftment syndrome" from a bone marrow transplant to cure a rare leukemia found just 3 years after losing her brother.

So, in 18 days, I will be walking in our local Relay For Life.

For David - who never got to see how incredibly beautiful and smart his only child, a daughter, K, has turned out since finishing high school and starting college.

For Peggy - who has been through things, procedures and tests, the roughest four months I have ever seen, which no one should ever have to go through and is still praising God the entire time.

And, for my mom - who doesn't talk about it much but is a melanoma survivor as well. Cancer free for nearly 3 years I think!

If you want, I am accepting donations for my local team. The button above will take you to our team's page. Or, you may want to donate locally to someone who you know in real life. But, please donate. It is people who donated previously who funded research into treatment and procedures that saved my mom's life and are currently saving Peggy's.

One way or another - please give.


Lisa said...

What a lovely post, Beth!! I know that you'll do a great job in the race!!

Blessings to you my friend!

GiBee said...

Oh, friend... God be with you during the walk! You are doing a really good thing!