What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Siblings snuggle on the hospital bed.

Siblings snuggle on the hospital bed.

Well, okay, maybe my children aren’t perfect. Maybe they fight and argue, and maybe when Karina confessed to pinching Andrew when asked why he had those bruises, I believed her! Poor thing, we didn’t know the bruises were actually from cancer.

Both girls were there when Andrew cried bloody tears, and both girls experienced the shock of a cancer diagnosis, when anemia or just about anything else was expected. But no matter how you look at it, Andrew is still the little brother and, well, let’s face it—he can be obnoxious sometimes. But it sort of evens out in the end, because Larissa can be a little bossy and Karina can be just a tad whiny!

But you know what? Maybe my children are pretty cool, too. Maybe they fight, but they also stick up for each other at times, and the girls’ ability to put up with this whole leukemia situation has been pretty amazing.

Three days after diagnosis, we were already sick of the hospital and Andrew was thoroughly missing his sisters, although he wasn’t quite ready to admit it. Whenever I talked to them on the phone, though, he would struggle up and hold out his hand for the phone.

That evening I held the phone up to Andrew’s ear because both his hands and arms were sore from needles and/or filled with tubes. He told them all about his “pokes” and how it didn’t seem fair, but he was OK. He described to them the “squeeze thing” (blood pressure cuff) that “really hurts, but doesn’t REALLY hurt.” Suddenly I saw his face light up. He closed his eyes as though savoring the best ice cream in the whole world, sighed gently, smiled and said softly into the phone, “I love you, too.”
This week I’m linking up with Kirsten Oliphant and friends for story time.  If you’d like to join us in crafting a story each week, or even occasionally, click here


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  • Oh, goodness! You beautifully captured the gift that love is. Thank you!
    Becky Daye recently posted…Lavished LoveMy Profile

  • Sibling love, and the reality of cancer with actual people. I think sometimes from the outside, we talk about people with cancer as being brave and somehow perfect, when they ARE brave and so many things, but also HUMAN. I loved that you captured that here, and showed us the scene of him listening on the phone with you holding it because he was too sore from the needles. Aching, but beautiful!
    Kirsten Oliphant recently posted…Not So (Small) Stories: Second EditionMy Profile

    • Thanks, Kirsten – you are right, it’s easy to forget how the cancer stories involve real people, which is what Anita and I hope to share. So thank you for that affirmation!
      Carol Bovee recently posted…What Lies BeneathMy Profile

  • Wow, heartbreaking and beautiful. I’d have been crying if I were the one holding that phone!
    Katie recently posted…Dream of a daughterMy Profile

    • I’ve shed many tears, and I cried as I wrote this, but my tears are a mix of sad, proud, happy and blessed!
      Carol Bovee recently posted…What Lies BeneathMy Profile

  • what a sweet and sad memory. thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  • Carol Miller

    I am so happy to see you writing these stories, Carol. It would be nice if some day they found themselves in a book. It would be inspirational for many. Miss you.

  • Oh so sweet to read the recollection of his face when he heard he was loved! Thank you so much for sharing this precious and difficult memory.
    Courtney recently posted…Super Late “Friday” Night Foodie (That happened on a Saturday…)My Profile