Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 2, 2012

As Sisters Should

Kolkata, India

Cindie and Cheryl at age 16.

My wife Cheryl and her sister Cindie are eight months apart. They were providentially brought together under one roof to be raised by a loving couple who could not have children of their own. Cindie was adopted first, and then eight months later when Cheryl was born, she was adopted into the same family. Their adoptive parents, Gene and Frances Crane, provided a wonderful Christian home for these girls. Cindie and Cheryl have always believed that God brought them together because it was His special plan for them to be sisters and to have Gene and Frances as their parents. God gave them to Gene and Frances — but He also gave them to each another. As sisters, they have shared a lifetime of experiences from childhood to their respective marriages to having kids of their own in the same hospital where they were born and given up for adoption. They share a bond with and a love for one another that is rock solid — one that has become even stronger as they have cared for Cindie’s husband Craig in the final days of his life.

I have called Cheryl a few times from India to get updates on Craig. Every time I have called, Cheryl has broken down and wept. She has wept because of Craig’s intense suffering and obvious decline. And she has wept for her sister whom she loves. She knows that she must return home and then back to work this week but doesn’t want to leave Cindie’s side. As I have prayed for Craig and also for Cindie and Cheryl, I have been especially thankful that Cheryl has had the opportunity to be by Cindie’s side to help care for Craig through the holidays. Sisters were made for times like this. And as I have reflected on the more than thirty-years that I have known Cheryl and Cindie, I am impressed by how they have loved and respected and supported each other throughout those years. I have never known them to be unkind to one another or to fight or argue. I always know when Cindie calls because Cheryl lights up. I can hear the delight in her voice — the kind of genuine joy that you can’t manufacture but that is the product of a lifetime of gratitude for what God did when He brought them together as sisters. Cindie and Cheryl have always treated each other as sisters should — with mutual love, admiration, and respect.

The Psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Ps. 133:1) — and indeed God is also pleased when sisters dwell in unity! Over the past thirty-three years of ministry I have learned that tough times do not always bring siblings together. And I have also learned that siblings who are together are better equipped to face the toughest of times. Watching and listening to Cheryl and Cindie through these difficult days of Craig’s imminent death has reminded me of how blessed Craig and I are to be the husbands of these remarkable sisters. Although the days ahead will be difficult as Craig takes his final breaths, I know that Cindie will be able to take another breath and another step because of the love and support of her family and of her sister who loves her as a sister should.


Responses

  1. Omar, I am praying for Craig and Cindy. I know it is a comfort and source of strength to have Cheryl and you supporting them.

    Doyle

    • Thanks, Doyle. We appreciate the prayers.

  2. Beautiful post Omar.

  3. I, also, am praying for you all. Thank you for writing this! I am blessed with a magnificent sister that God gifted to me in our birth family. There are seven years and two wonderful brothers between us and am so very thankful for them. I am praying for you and your family as you walk through this difficult valley.

    • Thanks very much for your prayers, Deborah. It means a lot to have so many praying at this time.

  4. I was unaware about your brother-in-law’s illness, but I’ll be praying for all of you now. Your post touched me deeply because I have lost both of my sisters. We were very close, and even though I know where they are, their passing has left a big hole in my heart. I miss them every day. I’m so thankful that Cindy has Cheryl to help her through this sad time. I’m thankful for you and your God-given talent for expression through the written word. You touch so many lives with your stories.

    Johnna Rhodes

    • Thanks, Johnna, for sharing your heart and for your kind words. Thanks also for your prayers.

  5. God’s Peace, my prayers.

    Dacques

  6. Most little girls want stories of princesses and castles, but I always asked for stories with “Cindie and Cheryl, Jimmy and Geral…and Jeffrey.” I’m so glad mom got a chance to be there for Aunt Cindie and I’m thankful for their stories. They are a perfect example for Gina and me.

  7. Thank you Omar for sharing Cindie and Cheryl’s beautiful story- an amazing testimony of God’s plan for families and how to love well. Praying for Craig & Cindie and the rest of the family.

    Sandy

    • Thanks for your prayers, Sandy. Much appreciated.

  8. Thank you very much for post!

  9. Omar,

    What a great read! We are so lucky to have such a great family supporting us. You can’t imagine how much we all appreciate Cheryl being here last week.

    Love,

    Clint and Family

    • We love you, Clint, and are grateful for the love of family. We are all blessed to be connected and thankful that God brought Craig into all our lives.

  10. Omar,
    Mom (Carole) sent this to me since she was so touched by the writing, and I see why. You eloquently state the very special and unique bond that sisters have but don’t always enjoy. I know these ladies don’t take each other for granted. I appreciate their lives as a testimony to their thankfulness to and faithfulness in the Lord, and am so glad Mom & Dad have been able to share so much with them.
    Gretchen (Hawkins) Bowling

    • Thanks, Gretchen. It has been such a blessing to see the entire Hawkins extended family do so much to help Cindie during these tough days. We are blessed indeed to be a part of a wonderful family.


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