My Sister, My Stella
By: Auntie Heather (Methven)
Mishi (Michelle) is my only sister. We are a year and a half apart in age and we have always lived in very close proximity to each other. This,along with many other factors, has created a rock solid bond between us. We have always looked after each other and leaned on each other through thick and thin.
My sister has always put others needs ahead of her own. An example of her selflessness was on our first day of university. Michelle has always been brilliant and had the opportunity to go to any university she wanted too (with full scholarships). I was accepted to York but had extreme anxiety over going. Because she fast-tracked, we had the opportunity to start University the same year. Michelle decided to go to York as well (years later I found out it was to help her big sister). Michelle was extremely late for her very first day of classes because she was comforting me during a severe anxiety attack. I was throwing up on one of the bathroom floors of the university, Michelle stayed with me the whole time, talked me out of my anxiety attack and then made sure I arrived safely to class. This is only one example of many where Michelle has helped me. It might sound cliché but I would not be the person I am today without my sister. Michelle is not only my sister but also my best friend.
The very special bond I have with my sister has trickled down to Stella. Even before her diagnosis, I would try to see her on a daily basis. I loved to go over to the house before work and eat blueberries with Stella while Michelle and Aimee got ready. I loved it when I was able to pick up Stella from daycare, as soon as she saw me should would get a huge grin on her face and yell “AUNTIE” and come running over to me. I will always cherish memories like these.
Since finding out about Stella’s diagnosis I have been desperately trying to spend as much time as possible with her. I see her on a daily basis, whether for 20 minutes or a couple of hours. I enjoy and treasure the time we spend together and I am grateful for each word, smile, kiss and hug she gives me. I love it when she says, “I am Aunties bubbas” or “Hold me please”. I need to see her, when I don’t see her I feel like something is missing and I start to get anxious and upset. I am thinking of her constantly and I cannot even begin to fathom what life would be like without her. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I think I am having a surreal nightmare. Then the devastating reality sets in.
At the beginning of this journey I had such high hopes. All the doctors said that there is 0% cure for DIPG but I didn’t believe them. I spent hours looking for articles and cases of other children with DIPG and the results were always the same with the children eventually earning their “angel wings”. I continued to be hopeful even after looking at all the statistics, but reality has finally started to sink in. I see her being robbed of her abilities and I wonder why so many have to endure this devastating diagnosis. I don’t understand why DIPG exists in our world and I don’t think I ever will. I just know it is one of the most catastrophic thing that can happen to a family.
My sister has helped me through many difficult situations including our DIPG journey. Stella is her child and I should be
the one to shelter and protect her from the destruction DIPG has created; however, Michelle is actually the one who has protected and helped me through all of this.
We are currently going through the most devastating journey of our lives. It has brought our family, Aimee’s family and us closer together than ever before. It has also taught me that life is extremely precious, enjoy every second and don’t take anything for granted.
I am so blessed and honored to have Michelle, Aimee, Stella and Sam in my life. Nobody and nothing can ever destroy the amazing bond I share with all of them.
Mish and I in the bathtub (ages 2 & 3)…I think Mish looks ALOT like Stella!
Me and Mish at our childhood cottage (ages 5 & 4)
Mish and I were best friends, even as teenagers
Stella , “my Bubbies’, and I