It is time to write about sister Jordan! I wanted to give the "Dad-post" the spotlight for a few days before bumping him down for the "Sister-post". While waiting to post this over the last few days I noted that a number of blogs were posing the question of the impact on siblings of kids with disabilities. I guess we were all thinking along the same line. Hopefully Jordan will comment on this and let us know what SHE thinks about Mom's comments! She is invited to guest blog!
Jordan is Linea's big sister, seven years, five months and thirteen days older than her and about five inches shorter. Jordan has always been a big sister to Linea as well as practicing her mothering skills on her from the time Linea was born. Jordan led Linea through her childhood with care and love and her own unique brand of imagination. Which, as a budding artist, was considerable (check out her art at http://www.jordanswain.com/). Jordan was the chief instigator and designer of the Phantom of the Opera birthday party when Linea turned nine. The party was complete with a Phantom cake that Jordan made, decorations, music and all the materials (under Jordan's directorship) for each child to make a Phantom mask. The girls have a remarkably loving relationship. Linea loved her sister so much that she and her best friend, Kim, interviewed one of Jordan's first dates. In trench coats and writing on their clipboards, the two girls quizzed the poor kid on everything from his favorite food, football team, and pets to when and how he would bring Jordan home. Jordan and Linea hardly ever had arguments or competitions or any hints of jealousy between them. The only time there was any real friction was when Jordan was in the last months of her high school days and preparing to go off to college. Linea wanted to go with Jordan everywhere she went. She knew Jordan's time at home was short. Jordan was trying her hardest to prepare to fly away from the nest and Linea was trying her hardest to keep her home.
They have remained incredibly close and as a mom it is so heartwarming to see that they are best friends and will be there for each other no matter what. So how did Jordan react to Linea's illness? These two girls have very different temperaments as anyone who knows both of them can attest (understatement?). Jordan said at one point in the beginning of all of this, "I don't understand why Linea is so sad. I just get mad!" When Linea was finally hospitalized Jordan was there, continuing to fight for her sister. I had to remove Jordan from the psych unit when she wanted to take on the nurse that wouldn't let Linea leave for a walk outside. She finally left with me pulling her arm, but proclaiming that the "nurse was a b*%$h." Once out through the locked doors and into the hallway of the hospital Jordan burst into tears because she was so afraid for her baby sister. Jordan is a tough, beautiful and feisty woman but barely below the surface she is incredibly sensitive and vulnerable (just don't tell her that!). One of her strongest traits is loyalty. I can think of nothing that would fray her loyalty to her sister. Jordan's love for her sister is kinda like a mom's. I don't see any jealousy or resentment of any of the support or care that Linea receives as she works her way through her diagnosis and treatment. I only see great protectiveness and love. Jordan never shies away from the diagnosis, the treatment or the acceptance of her sister. She also has so much optimism and belief in her future that even in dark times she buoys us all up and forward. Jordan, you are our hero.