I’ve spent the past week at a holistic healing and yoga retreat in Bali, Indonesia and planned to tell you all about it today. It was an incredible week. I’m still processing everything that happened and trying to work out how to put it in to words.
On top of that, my 6-hour flight home landed in Brisbane at 4:45am this morning so I haven’t slept a wink (seriously, who are these people who can sleep sitting up on planes, surrounded by strangers!?) so it’s proving challenging even stringing a coherent sentence together.
I’m tired, emotional, a little shell-shocked and don’t yet feel ready to summarise my week at the retreat. Therefore, I’m going to abandon that plan and talk instead about how freaking incredible it felt to drag my sleepy arse through the exit gates of the Brisbane International Airport at such an un-Godly hour this morning to see the huge arrival hall empty… except for one person. My incredible sister, who had set her alarm for 4:30am so that I would be met by a friendly face.
My sister is the most amazing woman I know. She is constantly on the run, being a devoted wife, a tireless mother to her three boys, working part-time and keeping their family home humming along smoothly - all with a positive outlook and a smile on her face. But in the past (almost) two years since Dan’s death, she has never once let me down. I honestly don’t think I would be here, or at least be doing ‘ok’, if it weren’t for my sister.
As a widow, there is a unique sense of loneliness you’re faced with when you lose your person. There is a void that can’t easily be filled by even the most loyal of friends who, despite going above and beyond, just don’t have that same level of vested interest that a partner would have in your life.
This is how I know how special my sister is and how incredibly lucky I am to have her in my life. I don’t find it easy to ask for help, but my sister has this way of making me feel like, regardless of how demanding I am of her time or energy, she is the one who is lucky to have me in her life and our relationship is just as beneficial to her.
Rather than dropping me home to my quiet, empty house this morning, my sister took me back to her place and made me breakfast. As her husband and sons slept, we then climbed in to her guest bed with cups of tea and talked for a couple of hours, filling each other in about my week and what I’d missed out on at home.
What could have been a pretty lonely homecoming instead felt like a celebration and made me so grateful. As my nephews woke up, one by one, she bought them in to the guest room to climb in bed with us so I’d be surrounded by cuddles (see the photo). Without even thinking, she goes out of her way to make sure I know that I’m not alone and I am an important and valued part of a loving family.
She is my hero, the one I call when I need anything, knowing she will never make me feel like a burden but will work out how to be there for me and make it all ok. Short of having my husband back, my sister is a very, very close second best.
In this ‘after’ when it would be so easy to focus on what I’ve lost and how unfair this life is, my sister is one of the many people in my life who truly make me feel blessed.