I lost my beautiful, life-driven older sister to breast cancer a few weeks ago and since that day, my entire world and everyone in it reshaped my purpose for living. Clouded in confusion and desperate for answers, I’m keeping God busy day and night with questions about this evil, organ-devouring, family-damaging disease that is affecting women daily. It’s not surprising why women are freaking out more than ever before when the word cancer comes to mind. Especially breast cancer.
Me? Really? No way! Not me. Can’t be. I’m way too young. Too active. Too healthy. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. My risks are low. Cannot be me. Hmmm. Wait. Maybe.
If only that were true. My sister would still be alive, drinking delicious green matcha tea frappucinos with me on the patio. We would be biking in the rain. Eating veggie turmeric soup in the kitchen. Watching the Ellen show on the couch. The truth is here. Right in front us. We are all at risk and somehow, someway we need to destroy this powerful illness creeping our way and wipe its existence off of planet Earth.
So many things change when you lose someone you love. Especially cancer. Breast cancer at a young age. Very young age. 41. My sister took her last breaths at home surrounded by family members. We held her hands til the end. She lost her voice, resembled a skeleton, barely walked, talked, yet her heart kept beating with such mighty strength. Chemo ruined her internally but not her spiritual connection with God. Their relationship was what kept her going. For years, months, days, hours before her death. She didn’t shed tears like those around her. She so positively embraced this cancer journey like a true inhumane warrior. Such a heavenly act, like an angel already descending from above preparing to take her up.
She battled this cancer hell for over a decade yet nothing broke her down. No matter how devastating her medical chart was described by countless doctors, she remained in such an unreal, serene harmony with God. His presence was truly seen through her eyes. A breath-taking image of what heaven is about. I saw it right in front of me. Every day that passed, her life withering away as she underwent endless, failed treatments, she stayed hopeful til the end. Never once did she feel defeated. Why? Because God didn’t give up on her. Ever. Not for a second. She remained His top priority. Always. All through her difficult days and sleepless nights.
Shortly following her funeral, I revisited her condo. I inspected every bit of her life carefully as I bombarded God with questions which still remain unanswered. Suddenly I came across a red vintage phone in her kitchen. Old-fashioned, never used. Just served as a decorative piece of art, adding zen to her life. Few minutes later, my two toddlers propped themselves right in front of it, adjusting their comfort on her bar stools.
They picked up the phone and called my sister in heaven. Dialed random numbers and held the spiral cord in their little hands. They started a conversation with her. Laughing, giggling, telling her how much they miss her. Love her. Want to see her. Talked about their day. What they’re doing, how fun her home is and how sad mommy’s face looks. I froze. Broke down in tears. Lost myself in this incredible moment. And just then I felt embraced by heaven through her invisible voice. The voice from above my children reached through the heaven telephone. A surreal connection with the other side.
“Mommy, I’m talking to ciocia (aunt in Polish), but I can’t hear her. I keep talking and she’s not talking back,” my 4 year old expressed with a slight heartache.
“Is she there? Why is she not talking back?” my 2 year old added.
“Listen, my sweet bugs. You might not hear ciocia Iza and she cannot answer you, but she’s listening. She will always be listening. She will hear your voice and everything you say. Hearing you makes her smile. Believe me. She’s smiling right now.”
And my kids smiled back as more tears covered my cheeks. Oh this moment!
We all have our own heaven telephone. It’s in our heart, spoken aloud or in silence and God always hears through it. We ask, sometimes beg for better days, better moments, better health, more peace, more wealth, less frustrations, minimal emotional breakdowns and the list goes on. That list that we ourselves create. The list that means so little when someone’s life is in your hands. Literally. In your own two hands. Fighting for her life. Praying for the suffering to finally end. And seeking God’s hand to take her away. His Home. His joyous eternal life that cleansed my sister from cancer and welcomed her to pure happiness and lasting love in heaven. Eternal safety.
What if we reverse how we think and shift our focus on being grateful the moment we wake up. Thank God for another day. Another day to love and give our hearts to others. Another day to be happy and embrace those little blessings surrounding us daily. Those moments that hold the most value in our lives. Those moments of bliss we ignore because we are busy. Make excuses. Want those lists done. Want more more more. Yet less is what we need. Less is more. Because more is not always the answer.
Let us love, give thanks and let heaven know how much there is to be grateful for. The abundance of bliss that is truly a gift from above. That human touch, words spoken, time spent with loved ones. That’s the best part of each day. Every moment. And that’s what I miss most about my sister. Those moments. Those simple joys.
We sat, we talked, we laughed, we giggled, we drank chamomile tea, made soup, watched cooking shows, home videos and laughed even more. We talked about Heaven and how similar it is to Earth. The telephone of pure love, expressed daily, uplifting you in various ways within our busy lives. Those words that stick with your for a lifetime and carry you through…
- Just sit with your kids, love them, kiss them, hold their little hands
- No need to argue over the little things, drop the nonsense
- Take care of the sick and elderly
- Hug often, smile more
- Relax, take it easy
- Pray, stay connected with God
- Enjoy each day because tomorrow isn’t up to us
Wow! How I miss those words spoken with her voice. I cannot bring her back but I could always talk to her through the heaven telephone. The invisible phone of love that connects with those we lost. It requires no membership, zero fees and no contracts to sign. Just a lifetime commitment to our loved ones. Instant connection with those enjoying eternal life above. Just you, God and anyone you love that’s waiting for your phone call, that blessing, that gratefulness, that moment of bliss that surrounds us in abundance. Love it! Enjoy it! Embrace it! And call often. Very often. My children did. And I surely have thousands of times since my sister departed Earth, rose up and became my guardian angel. Forever guiding us and listening, smiling back.