Thursday, October 9, 2008

back to whitney.

o.k... are you done laughing now?...

this is a picture of me (on the left) and my older sister amber (on the right). we were on our way to our first concert ever, Whitney Houston, and our aunt Lisa was taking us. i remember the feelings of excitement going to my first concert, and being with my sister and my favorite aunt. i made sure my bangs were sprayed real well, i helped amber rat her hair, and i knew that my white boots and esprit shirt with rolled sleeves were basically as cool as it could get. wasn't life simple then?

i would have never guessed that my older sister of just 1 1/2 years would find drugs, and make the decision to give them a try. what i would have guessed is that we would be helping each other through motherhood, raising our children together, and continuing on the journey of life together as sisters. unfortunately, that hasn't happened. addiction has taken over her life, and even after my parents numerous attempts at rehabs and counselors, she continues to choose a different path. i rarely speak to amber unless it is a call from a jail cell, a call to speak to her son for a minute, or a call for money. about once a year for the past 10 years she asks me how she can fix her life. i respond the same way every time, "amber, you need to get off of everything, get a job, pray to Heavenly Father, ask Him for help, and leave those friends forever." she always replies with the same, " i know, i know, it's just so hard."

the amber i remember from the whitney houston concert is beginning to slip from my memory, but that is what i want to remember; the amber who loved "new kids on the block", the amber who couldn't wait to go to her first church dance, the amber who ran faster than every boy in the neighborhood, and the amber who could become friends with everyone.

why do i write this? because life isn't always flowers, crafts, and cupcakes. there are so many life lessons and relationships that contribute to who i am today. and the reflection of those experiences can only make me stronger. in retrospect, i long to go back to the whitney concert and change the course of time for my sister, but for now i will focus on patience, love, and a hope for a miracle.

11 comments:

kristenita said...

oh jennie,
that made me cry. I know how much you love amber & I cant even imagine how hard it has been for your whole fam watching her bad choices. you are the best sister anyone could have!! pray pray pray, sometimes it's so frustrating that that's "all" we can do, huh?
love you.

Becky said...

What a deep insight into who you are. I'm glad you can take a step back and remember such a good time with your sister :)

Megan said...

What a moving and honest post Jenny. I remember those days on Patrick Lane where life was carefree. I will always love Amber and it is so sad to think of what might have been...we can only pray for what might still be.

jill said...

It will all work out Jennie.

Until then, keep smiling, it's what you do best!

Jek said...

I miss that girl too. She was so fun to be around and SOOOOO cool. Everyone liked her. I can't imagine how she must feel when she is clear headed and thinking about what could have been. I am sure she wishes she could be that sister you want so bad. One day she will get that chance. Until then, we have to remember the crazy, fun, happy Amber times.


On a lighter note, it is funny that those were the outfits that were just sooo popular. and the bangs ratted!! Isn't it funny that that is probably how Taylor's and Alexis clothes will look to them one day. Cute at the time, but just so dang funny years later!!!

nyclizzie said...

beautifully written.

The Smith's said...

Oh Jennie your post hit home. My brother in law Taylor also has a substance abuse problem. It is a daily battle to love and accept him as the Savior does. We are promised that if we go to the Temple that unseen angels will watch over our loved ones and help them to resist temptations. I am sure you and your parents have spent countless hours at the Temple on Amber's behalf, but that's really all we can do. Pray for them, put their name on the pray roll, and try to love them as our Heavely Father loves them. Easier said then done for sure.

Amy said...

There's no worse feeling in the world than to watch a loved one make bad choices. All anyone can do is hope. Hang in there.

Erin said...

Jennie! That brought some tears to my eyes. You are so articulate. i guess we wish that life was crafts and cupcakes, but all the good and the bad make up who we are. I also wish you could have the sister back that you remember!

AmyandDax said...

I love this post Jennie. I think everyone can relate on some level... no family is "perfect"... mine's sure not. I have cried many of my own tears for two of my siblings in similar situations. They both hit their own "rock bottom" and turned their lives around... I hope as much for your sister. Keep praying for her, I know Heavenly Father hears.

Cindy Larkin said...

Jennie, I'm so sorry. My heart is breaking for you and your family. Just want you know that I'm thinking of you. :) Lots of love coming your way.