Saturday, March 26, 2005

Lose the hate part of love/hate relationships.

Last night I spent the night in the hospital with my brother, Ben. There is something wrong with him and they can't figure out what it is, but it causes absolutely horrible pain in his body constantly. This is the third time he's been admitted with this same pain - the first time they removed his appendix and the second time they removed his gall bladder. They have run out of extraneous parts to take out and are actually going to have to figure out what is really wrong this time. But all of this is not what I am writing about today. This is just spurring on my thoughts about my relationship with my brother.

Any of you who really know me know that Ben and I have had a pretty rocky past. We are best friends when we are in different cities two hours away, but put us in the same house for more than one week and we want to kill each other. But last night as I watched him lay in pain, his face turning red as he tried to control it, I realized how much time we have wasted hating each other. There have been moments in my life where we have really connected and been sad about times that we have been unnecessarily mean to each other, but none will ever come close to the connection we made last night. In just a matter of 12 short (or in his mind - very, very, long) hours, he had to put his trust wholly in me and I had to honestly assure him I would do everything I could to take away his pain. This is because I was in charge of a button that could be pushed every 15-30 minutes to release some morphine into his blood stream. All I wanted was for him to sleep so he wouldn't feel pain. As I stayed up doing this, I couldn't imagine what it would be like under different circumstances.

I am only his sister. I am not his mother. But when he would cry out in the darkness to me in a voice barely above a whisper because it was all he could get out, "Emily...please...please make it stop..." and grab my hand and look at me with eyes filled with pain, it was all I could do to keep myself together. Just thinking about it again I am crying. I felt so useless because I wanted to take this from him; I would have done ANYTHING to make the pain go away, but I couldn't. Tonight my mom is staying the night, Thursday night was my dad. Ben is their son. I can't even imagine how excruciating it must be for them to watch him like this.

I know this is the stereotypical direction to go at this point, but I can't help it because it is so true. As much pain as Ben is in right now, it is nothing compared to the pain that Jesus went through. And it makes me feel horrible for all of the times that I have failed and will continue to fail in the future. In the same way that Ben looked at me with that pain in his eyes last night, Jesus looks at me when I screw up, and I don't want to see that pain when I get to Heaven.

Finally, my last rambling thought of this whole ordeal is that I want to encourage anyone reading this to think about the people in your life who you have struggles with and try with all your might to get past your problems. I know there are times in my life that I have wished pain on Ben, and as difficult as it is to even think these words, much less type them, I know that at least at one point many years ago, I thought my life would actually be easier if he just weren't around at all. I can't even bring myself to write the real word to end that sentence. But I can guarantee you I will never have these feelings again. Sure, I will be mad at him again and we will argue again, but if I never have to see him feeling like this again, I will be happy. And last night proved to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that I do want him around and in my life. I don't know what I would do without him. So although you may not believe me, if there is someone in your life who you have a love/hate relationship with, lose the hate, because you will only hate yourself when you have to spend a night with them like I did last night.


Lindsey said...

Em, that was a very mature post. I really admire you for your constant evaluation of your attitude and actions. You're such a great sister, even when you are mad at him, you still stick up for him. You always demonstrate love for him even in the difficult times, that shows a lot of character. Thanks for sharing that experience with the world.

Ryan said...

Great stuff Em. I'm tracking with you so much it hurts. -Ryan

Suzie Creamcheese said...

Hey Emily, Great post. Is he doing better now? I'm praying for you all! Suzie

Katherine said...

Wow, Emily-I had no idea that was going on with Ben-I will definitely be in prayer for him and for all of you!! Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us and for putting it all into perspective. May God bless you as you seek to love him and seek to serve our Father!!