A lot of the time when I am visiting Leslie, we fantasize about what we are going to do when she gets to go home. We already have almost a weeks worth of restaurants we want to visit, including Olive Garden, Melting Pot, and Red Robin. And maybe a Mexican place, because we all know Leslie and her love of Mexican food.
We also have had the tradition for the past 7 years or so where my mom, sister, and I would go to Chicago every summer for 4 days. That tradition kind of fazed out when I had Ethan, so we'd take smaller, closer trips. One year, the trip was to Saugatuck. Now I won't get into what kind of city Saugatuck is known for being (BESIDES amazing), but we had an incident that we still laugh about, 3 years later. We had stopped at a Meijer because I forgot my camera card. Mom stayed in the car, because we brought Ethan along. Leslie and I ran in. We were just there for the camera card, so we were walking really fast. As we were walking, we went through the Junior girls section and there was a t-shirt. I read it out loud, without thinking a thing. Leslie read it after me, and that was when it hit us as to what it said. And we laughed. Not just laughed, but laughed until there was no sound coming out of our mouths, tears streaming down our faces, and we were all hunched over, unable to move. We laughed until we couldn't breath. We'd regain our composure, then remember what the shirt said, and start laughing all over again. It. was. hilarious. To us, anyways. And it is one of my very favorite memories with her. We always had fun, but moments like that made things extra special, and made me so glad to have her in my life.
It's always been just the two of us. There are no other siblings. We talk about how hard it will be when our parents get older, making decisions for them and whatnot. They already decided that I would be their medical advocate, and Leslie would just do everything else, especially anything money related because she was so good with money. It's stuff you hate to talk about, but you always have that one guarantee...you'll have each other to lean on.
On September 20, when I got that phone call, I was frantic. Panicked. I had no idea if my sister would even be alive when I got there. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life. I wouldn't ask my worst enemy to go through what we went through that day. When she was laying there, unresponsive, on the vent, I remember thinking "Please, God, just come off that vent." Then two days later, when she came off the vent, I remember saying "Please, God, just wake up." ...and she did that, too. Then it was "Please, God, just talk to us." ...and she did. It just didn't make much sense. So here we are. One of the hardest questions people can ask me is "How is your sister doing?" It's such a general question, and I totally expect it, but I never know how to answer. If you want to know how my sister is right NOW versus what she was before September 20? Then she's doing terrible. She can hardly walk, she has trouble remembering, it's NOT the girl I've known all my life. But if you want to know how she is doing since September 20, then I would say she is doing incredible. She has done so much in the past 3 weeks, it's amazing and I am so proud of her.
She will get there. I believe in her. Oh, and the shirt said "Crazy but fun" and if you can't figure out why we laughed so hard, or even what Saugatuck is known for, I won't explain. But if you ask me or Leslie in person, you will likely see us crumble into a heap of giggles.