I have two siblings. I have a brother, Dan, who's nine and a half years younger than I am and a sister, Heather, who was born one day before I turned exactly three and a half.
I have pretty distinct memories of Mom being pregnant with Daniel and seeing the first picture ever taken of him and then Mom and Dad bringing him home. I was in third grade and my classmates and I made a banner to welcome Mom and Daniel home. Actually, what is says is "Welcome - we love you! - Home!" Or something like that. There's a picture in one of Mom's photo albums of the banner hanging off the old entertainment center.
Memories of when Heather was born, not so much. Not any, in fact. Unlike my husband who boasts that he can remember living in Canada where he was born and then moved away from before he turned three, I have no such powers of memory. Much.
She's always just been there. We played together for hours with our dolls in the basement in the house in Arnold. We were allowed to go to the park by ourselves and play. (You could see most of the park from the house less than a block away.) Sometimes Dad would even come with us to the park and push us "underdog" style on the swings. He's six foot tall, we were impressed with the height he could make us fly.
When we moved to Columbus, Nebraska when I was in fourth grade we got separate bedrooms. I was mostly down with that, Heather not so much, so most Friday nights after school she'd spend the night in my room.
We suffered some typical separation when we moved to Illinois and I attended high school. You know teenagers, they don't necessarily want to hang out with the little sister who's still in grade school. I mean, come on.
To be fair, I didn't really like anyone except my friends all those years, so it wasn't her. It really wasn't.
She was the first person who was a passenger when I bought my first car. (If you don't count Dad, who was with me when I bought it.)
No relationship is perfect. We've had our down moments, even as adults. But she's my sister. If you have one, maybe you get it.
This last weekend, Heather was admitted to the hospital. Many things were unknown and as much as Mom and Dad tried to put me at ease, I do NOT typically cope well with the distance from here to there when something's going on with a member of my family.
She's my sister.
Doctors discovered a cyst. Then she was going to be moved to the University of Michigan Medical Center for surgery. Then she wasn't. Could it just be a benign cyst? (The size of a FOOTBALL, by the way) Could it be cancer? No one really knew anything.
Pastor's been doing a sermon series on "knowing God". A week ago last Sunday, he touched on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; specifically what they said to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter three.
"if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18 NIV
My family's been in the furnace this week. And Heather's not necessarily out of the woods yet, even as things "looked good" according to the surgeon; we're still waiting a few days for the pathology report.
But we serve a big God. And that isn't going to change.