So in my last post I talked about our marriage – and although it wasn’t flashy it will be one of the best days ever because my sister was able to share it with me. In fact when we first proposed to my sister the idea of getting married right away – she was upset and said no. We were all quite surprised – it turned out she knew that we were planing a summer wedding and didn’t want to see that changed. After being reassured that we stilled planed on the summer wedding as well she was quite happy to be my maid of honour. Oh – that reminds me, we also had to go shopping to find dresses for my mom, grandmother and sister and shoes for me – we were in that mall right until close.
So we were now married, but my husband could only stay a short while – his mother was still in hospital and he had to get back to work. I’m a PhD student and I will be forever grateful to my supervisor who let me take all the time I needed to be with my sister. She lasted longer than anyone predicted – and passed away surrounded by family and love on January 7, 2013.
So last time I wrote about my sister and her battle with cancer – I realize I didn’t really finish the post. This has more to do with trying to decide how to comment on the fact that one of the saddest days of my life was also the happiest. The previous post was more focused on my sister – this one will be about my story during the same period.
Shortly, I guess not really that shortly – a few months, before that terrible call from my sister I started seeing an amazing man. When I got the call about my sister he was very supportive and I left immediately with my parents to go visit her. A few months passed with me making the trip to visit them as often as I could. After a few months of this, in late October, this wonderful man proposed. It was wonderful to call my sister with some happy news – we planed to get married in August and my sister would be my maid of honour.
If you read the last post you know that by Christmas we received devastating news that the cancer had returned to her brain and she didn’t have long. After traveling through a snowstorm – worst drive ever – when I arrived at the hospital my mom informed me that if I wanted my sister to be involved in my wedding that it would have to be soon – like in the next few days. This was shocking news and unfortunately my wonderful man had stayed behind as his mother had just been admitted to the hospital. So when I called and told him that I wanted to be married within 2 days he was surprised but immediately agreed. He made a few phone calls – including to a good friend who agreed to make the trip with him and be his best man. They arrived on December 30 and the next day (December 31st) we frantically travelled and called to get rings and a marriage license for our wedding on January 1. I don’t suggest doing this – first almost all government building were closed so it took a while to find a municipal office that would issue a marriage license – second it is really hard to find a store that will just let you walk out with a wedding ring (fortunately my husband and I have fairly standard finger sizes) – third make sure you have a great support group around you. This wedding was only possible because of my sister’s friends – I borrowed a wedding dress from one friend, another friend made the cakes and flowers, and a third catered the event. In addition the staff at the hospital was wonderful (thank goodness for a smaller hospital) – they set aside an area for the ceremony and another for the reception. Unfortunately, since my husbands mother was still in the hospital none of his immediate family could make it – although we were just like that ad that used to be on tv where the dad (or mom) attends via Skype – they are even in some photos on the computer screen. Fortunately, and by pure coincidence the town in which my sister was living also was the home for some of my husbands family so we actually had about an even representation. It was an amazing day – my sister was drugged up to enjoy herself and she signed the paperwork herself – she made it through most of the reception but was fading by the end. That evening she was placed on more drugs and never regained conciseness. She died on January 7th. So that day was so happy – I got to marry the love of my life – but bittersweet – as it was the last day my sister was really with us.