A phrase I frequently heard from my sister over the course of our life together was I don’t need you. Often she would ask me for help or an opinion, and if she didn’t agree with me or became frustrated…I don’t need you rolled off her tongue like butter on a warm knife. My sister easily became frustrated. I heard that phrase so much that it became background noise. I didn’t really pay attention to it anymore. Until I noticed she wasn’t saying it to me anymore.
I was not asked to go with my sister to her very first oncologist appointment. This was an “I don’t need you phase”. However, I already knew the doctor from consultations for my dad. The doctor is an outstanding person with an amazing bedside manner. I knew my sister would like her.
Since I was “not needed” that day, I decided to do a little work in the yard. My soul is a gardener. The earth between my fingers makes me centered. Being pregnant myself, I was looking to a down day. I walked outside in my dirty ol’ jeans, my straw hat, my muddy yard shoes, ear buds in place and grabbed my hand tiller. I didn’t even get through a whole song before my husband came and got me. My sister had called. I needed to call her back.
Immediately, I went into panic mode. My pregnancy hormones jumped over the cliff before even trying a rational thought. Her?? The baby?? OMG OMG
Me: What’s wrong??? Are you ok??? Is the baby ok?? What did the dr say??? (insert ramblings of an emotional hormonal pregnant woman).
My sister: (sniffling)
(At this point I go completely silent)
Me: Baby, what’s wrong?
My sister: I need you here.
I didn’t changed. I didn’t wash up. I grabbed the keys and went. Looking back at our life, I always did. Whenever she needed me, truly needed me, I was there. Even when she said she didn’t need me. It had never made a difference before, it wouldn’t now either.
When I got there, she hugged me, tears in her eyes. So upset. So scared. I sat next to her rocking her, humming You are My sunshine. (Another thing I’ve always done since as far back as I can remember.) Her boyfriend was there. The guy tried. He really did. That moment just called for a different kind of love than he could provide.
She whispered, “I need you. Always & Forever.” I whispered back,”Forever & Always”.
She never said she didn’t need me again. That small shift meant the world to me.