Saturday, February 14, 2015
Talking About Love
It was late September, 2001, and we were bombarded with fear and disbelief and images of burning buildings falling to the ground. He was sitting there, watching it again, when the phone rang.
The doctor, with a voice that indicated he had done this many times before, told him that the stomach ache he had been experiencing was actually fourth stage colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver. The doctor instructed my little brother to find an oncologist and set up a course of treatment. The doctor told him that there was little possibility for long-term survival.
He was living in Tennessee, alone, having been recently divorced. There were relatives that lived nearly, but no one able to care for him, no one to help with the chemotherapy schedule or the meds or to talk to when it all became overwhelming.
My sister, BG, is possibly the only living human who dreads cold weather worse than I do. She lived in North Alabama until she was financially able to move to Florida. In September 2001, she was living in Florida with a job that met her needs, enjoying her life and the Florida sunshine.
After my brother's prognosis, she gave up everything tangible in her life and moved to Tennessee to take care of him. She drove him to chemotherapy, cooked his meals, dealt with the insurance companies, and watched movies and laughed with him. She cared for him until he breathed his last breath, staying until his estate was settled before she returned to Florida.
It was the was greatest act of pure, selfless love that I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Someone said Valentine's Day is just a commercial construct; the busiest time of year for florists and jewelers. It is all about measuring love by who gets the biggest temporary bauble.
Can a relationship be measured by a pound, two pounds, or five pounds of chocolate?
If he buys you a two caret diamond instead of one, does he love you twice as much?
Can a relationship be measured by a stack of goodies on a cold day in February?
All these things seem so trivial when compared to what BG did for our brother. It can never be measured on scales or credit cards. It was having the strength to get out of her comfort zone to do what needed to be done.