Sheila

I am in awe of all the women in my life. Mothers, sisters, wives, friends, daughters, aunts. There are many, many, MANY to consider. Doctors, accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, bankers, realtors, students, cooks, YOU NAME IT. They nurture, inspire, encourage, and amaze me. Don’t get me wrong. I like guys. A lot. I love my brother. We always hug when we first see each other and then again when we say goodbye. But his hugs are nothing like the hugs I get from my sisters. Here’s one of my sisters:


This is Sheila. Last week I was watching her in disbelief as she seemed to have so many balls in the air. She was able to do a few million things in the course of a single day, and still look beautiful doing them. And she still always had a warm smile, a kind word, a sweet kiss, and one of those priceless hugs for those of us within her reach.


Last week our dad had major surgery - bladder and prostate removed because of life-threatening cancer. Sheila’s father-in-law had major surgery - a lung removed because of life-threatening cancer. Her daughter-in-law had major surgery on her esophagus. All of this in ONE WEEK. She knows how to get from Hospital A to Hospital B, and then to Hospital C. She can navigate the streets and highways of the Dallas / Ft. Worth metroplex with the skills of a NASCAR driver. She is way too familiar with ICU and surgery waiting rooms. She knows that the cafeteria at Parkland might have better food, but the coffee shop at Zale Lipschy has better lattes.


In all honesty, I didn’t always appreciate her for the wonderful woman she is. She is nine years younger than me, and for a long time she was just my cute little baby sister. I guess technically she still is, only now she’s a grandmother. But I think that sometimes we don’t get an accurate picture of the people we’re related to. Maybe we discount them, or take them for granted. Maybe our perceptions of them are based mostly on the experiences we shared growing up.



But she is no longer my eight-year old sister barging into my bedroom to bother my seventeen-year old self with her unending questions about, well, everything. Now my image of her is completely different. I see her as an incredibly smart, strong woman with a sweet, soft side. Now I see the way she handles all the bumps in her road with calm, with grace (and sometimes with tears), and always with that beautiful smile. Through meeting her co-workers, her innumerable friends, the people she knows through church and school organizations, I get a little glimpse of how other people see her. And they love her, too. Who wouldn’t?


So here’s to Sheila. Since she and I now live is different cities (just a five-hour drive away, directly up I-35), we don’t see each other that often. Between our visits, I tend to miss her a lot.  She’s had a lot of stressful stuff on her plate lately. She’s due for a nice, long relaxing weekend at the lake. That’s her light at the end of the tunnel. First she’ll make sure everybody’s okay. Then you can find her sitting on the deck at the lake.

Comments

  1. Well done, Sheila; well done, Big Brother.

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  2. What a sweet brother you are. Yes, your sisters are the best. I know because they are my nieces. We have the best family and I am lucky enough to have married into it. I know in my heart that I could call on anyone of them anytime. I loved this story and I love you Mike.

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  3. And I am fortunate to be among the friends and coworkers of Sheila blessed by all the traits you so elequently listed. What a joy to know her. I thank the Lord often for the day she walked into our office at Lay & Williams. She's a tough young bird and one this tough old bird learns a quite a bit from! Love you Sheila, Pam.

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