I am extremely close to my sisters (all four of them). So close it is probably unhealthy. I am so empathetic that their joy is mine and their pain is mine.
The past six months, I have been witnessing the slow death of my sister Katie Beth. It's not cancer.
My little sister who is 23 is one of the most special people in my life. She is loyal to a fault, she is hard working, adventurous, and loving. She got married at 19 (like myself) to a wonderful guy she'd been head over heels in love with since she was 13. They were magical together. Kyle one time gave Katie Beth a brain injured squirrel for her birthday. To most of us, that would be confusing and maybe insulting, but to Katie Beth it was the most wonderful thing in her world. She nurtured and loved that baby squirriel for months before it died.
Many deployments, trainings, a miscarriage later Katie Beth and Kyle were just shells of people they used to be.
It's been almost exactly 4 years since my little sister walked down the aisle to her groom, and for the past six months I have been a front row observer in the decline of their marriage.
It has been heart breaking. That is the only word I can think to describe it. Kyle was unfaithful to Katie Beth which I know from being her sister was the number one fear of her life. Month after month, lies after lies, I watched it drag on. Just when I thought the affair was over, and restoration could begin to take place, more lies were discovered.
In the midst of this all, I watched as God miraculously changed Katie Beth's heart from a hard, cold unforgiving heart to one that was sweet and willing to forgive. It has been amazing to watch.
Unfortunately and frustratingly her husband has proven time and time and time and time again that he is not willing to give up his selfishness and be faithful to her.
So three weeks ago, my 6 1/2 month pregnant sister moved in with us (again). But this time for good. It's become apparent in the past couple of days that things are not going to work out.
It's been pretty awful to watch as Katie Beth's dreams die. Her dreams of a loving family, her dreams of a daddy for her little girl, her dreams of more children, of growing old with someone.
And here I am with all those dreams realized. And my heart just cries out with sadness for her.
How can I deliver Sullivan in a couple weeks and be happy? How can my heart be satisfied as I look around the delivery room and see an excited, expectant daddy. When I know just a few short weeks later, my sister will be delivering a child into a broken family? She will not have the amazing bonding experience I had with Noah when Barclay was born. She will not have someone to gaze at her baby with her, going over every single aspect and marveling that she was made through their love. She will not have a husband to help her change diapers when she's too tired after a night of breastfeeding. She wont have someone encouraging her along the way that she's doing a good job and she wont have someone saying, "I cannot believe she's ours!"
We will be there for her. We will help her change diapers. We will take many hours to marvel over that baby. We will...but it wont be the same.