And the Real Hero Is. . .


My sister and I have a favorite saying, “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.” We have used this saying over and over for years. We are always in awe that people think we are so strong. We are not strong but the God that we serve IS. Both of our husbands died within 7 months of each other. We grieved but did not let our grief consume us.  For a while we both went into auto pilot. We were not the first to lose our husbands nor will we be the last. As I have said before, life is sometimes difficult but it is how you deal with the difficulties that count. We didn’t see we had any choices, we had to move forward and so we did.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer my first thought was of my own children but my very next thought was of my sister. We raised each other; she and I. She has been my mother, my sister, my best friend and my spiritual counselor; all of these people rolled into one tiny 4’ 10” body frame. I knew that this would be some of the hardest news she would ever receive and I so desperately wished I could spare her this one. I cannot.

Over the course of years, I have been the better “nurse” but this week, Glenda has outshined me. Her eyes still mist with tears as she bleeds the three drains tubes coming out from my body. I have hand grenades that extend from tubes coming from the incisions. The tubes need to be “bled “twice  each day. The fluid drains into these small “hand grenades” that hang by a ribbon around my neck. She bleeds, drains, measures and records the fluid morning and night. She tries so hard not to cry the first time she sees my wounds. She cries some; I do not. I smile and tell her to wear her big girl panties and be strong for me. She laughs and cries at the same time and says, “I don’t want to wear them today.”  I love her more at that moment than I ever have before. Some days I have to admit, I wear my “big girl panties” but they are held up by two safety pins. She is the real hero here and I love her more than words can say.



8 responses »

  1. Hard to wear the “panties” everyday, but thank goodness you have each other…that’s what sisters are for…yeah they are. 🙂 Now I’ll go out and buy you each a pair of thong panties!! 😉

  2. Nicki, even when it is your turn to be cared for you reach out to make sure every one is okay. You’re amazing my friend, a real hero in my book. And yes, those of us lucky enough to have a sister are truly blessed. Love you! And Glenda too!

  3. You have an amazing sister, I know that first hand. She has helped me through some tough times and I think of her often since we moved back to Ohio. She has always been my strength and I love her for that. I know this has been hard on her but I also know how important you are to her. Love to you both in so many ways! Prayers are still coming your way. Tell you sis I love her dearly and am so happy you have each other.
    Love Cindy Ward-Jorde

  4. Nicki – So glad you have your sister (and son and daughter) there to take care of you. They only do for you what you would (and have) done for them. I think about you often and continue to pray for you while you recover from surgery and as you prepare to go into battle with chemo to wipe out any last vestiges of cancer. Thank you for sharing with us through your blog. Sounds like you have a lot of love and support out there to help you through.

  5. Nicki, you are very lucky to have your sister who cares for you so much. All of us in the neighborhood are thrilled to hear you are being so well cared for, and we are giving you this time with her, but don’t worry, we’ll be knocking soon. If your sister needs a break, you just give a call.

  6. Nicki

    I am so impressed with your strength. Your children and grandchildren are so lucky to have your example. I believe trials in life can make us stronger. Your example will bless the lives of your posterity for generations. I am so glad you are surrounded by people who love and support you. May the Lord bless and strengthen you and your family through this. I consider myself blessed to be a part of your life.

  7. Nick-I am back on regular work hours for the month of May- if you need errands or company of an evening, I’m here. I know how to put big girl panties on but sometimes they are too tight and squeezes the tears outa me! I have to tell you, I am learning from you these past months – your strength and humor is unbelievable- you are a rock that’s for sure.
    You’re very dear to me – and I can’t tell you how great it was to visit with Glenda too – I adore both of you.

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