We've had a very full week of basketball this week, which reached its peak tonight when Bethany's team won a tournament hosted by the Bismarck School District. They had to beat two teams earlier this week to reach the finals, and their opponent in the finals tonight was Lakeside School District, a large 5A school, versus our small 3A school. It was quite an exciting match-up, with Lakeside coming out strong early on. The girls inched their way back in, though, and played them close for most of the game. In the fourth quarter, we were down by seven, but our girls kept plugging away, and before you knew it, the game was tied...and we went into overtime. Bethany was one of several girls who hit a critical basket in overtime (although in this game, every point was critical), and we ended up beating Lakeside 36-35. The crowd went crazy, and the trophy was presented. Bethany has actually been sick for the past few days with a severe sore throat, spending the last two days on the couch, and just getting up to play basketball. Thankfully, we'll have a little break now...her next game won't be until Thursday!
I think I've shared on this blog before that Hannah was Bethany's biggest fan. She would always sit next to me while we watched the games and continuously encouraged and cheered for Bethany. I always loved that she chose to sit and share the experience with me, rather than sit with her friends. As we drove home from Bismarck tonight, we talked about how much Hannah would have enjoyed tonight's game, and how she would have been cheering for her sister. We discussed whether Hannah would be watching from Heaven...and I'm not sure about that. I just can't really imagine someone in Heaven, surrounded by all that glory and beauty, looking down on earth to watch a basketball game. I don't know.I do know that Bethany misses her sister. So much goes on in a 14 year old girl's life that she needs to talk to someone about.
As I watched Bethany & Hannah grow up together, and share so much of each other's lives...often choosing to sleep together just so they could tell stories, laugh, and talk late into the night...I came to realize how much I missed out on by not having a sister. And for Bethany, who once had and now has lost a sister, the loss is enormous. And in so many ways now, she is set apart from her peers. The experience of walking with her sister through brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the loss of her hair, devastating setbacks, loss of vision, motor skills, personality, and intellectual ability, and finally, sitting beside her holding her hand as she died, has changed her. She understands far more about life and death than most kids her age, and the typical junior high drama does not interest her. Unfortunately, she sometimes gets swept up into it unwillingly, and that's when she needs her sister to talk to. I can be her mom (and we've gotten quite close), but I can't be her sister, and it is not my role to be her best friend. It is my job to teach her to lean on Jesus, who will always be there for her. Please pray for both of us, that we will continually depend on Him, and give Him the glory!