A Sister Kissed Her

I can be seen as a "cancer patient going through chemotherapy" yet this is not what this story is about -- it's about love. It's not about current conventional medical treatments, side effects, limitations or miracles. It's about sister magic.

It could be about magic between any two loving adults. Yet for me having this special, unique visit with my sister -- flying across the country to love me and nurture me -- added a novel, wonderful depth to our relationship.

Who says cancer sucks? I know, I know, everyone thinks so because it does. However there are secondary gains hidden in the fabric of life if we allow it to bubble forth. So, for now, I'm looking through my rose-colored lenses and loving it. In an unknown future I might or might not have had the privilege to be the star of our sister show. I cannot know this -- my crystal ball is in the shop.

For now I am allowing myself to be supported. I am the nurtured one, the "cooked for" one, the "cleaning up the house" one, the "taking care of Cleo; our senior pup and her medical regime" one, the never-ending "going to the market" one. Yet my wicked fav was none of the above -- it was Karen's uniquely loving method of checking to see if I had a fever; the golden kiss on my forehead.

When I was well enough we strolled on Zuma beach; marveling at the subtle beauty as puffy clouds and energetic waves morphed the shadows of summer into autumn. We danced our dance in the sand, spaciously -- the summer crowds back at school or work. Wiggling toes in the sand, we talked about our children, our lives, our parents, our futures. A stolen moment that might have been a bi-coastal catch up phone chat became an eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul experience, borrowed flip-flops and all.

Bi-coastal family time can often be fraught with well-meaning, "catch-me-up" on your life talks; an honest intensity to bond, share and laugh before catching flights back to the opposite coast a few days hence. This visit was relaxed, unique and charmingly upside down. I was being taken care of by my younger sister. Never in the history would I have imagined thus.

There was an unspoken yet re-ignited commitment to be there for each other "in sickness and in health"; replete with butternut squash soup, garlic lentils with veggies, many cups of tea, "kasha varnishes" a family recipe, compliments of our "tribe." And then there were the fun "hi-end" creatively packaged goodies Karen couldn't resist bringing home from Vintage Grocers, our local market. Just because...

I don't recommend getting some scary-ass disease, ever -- but letting a trusted loved one, friend or family member cross over the sacred, invisible line from visitor or houseguest to nurturing caretaker beats any medicine or green juice I've yet to find.