My sister Mib was born Mary Elizabeth. My parents’ intention was to call her Mary Lib, but my brother turned that into ‘Mib.’
There were five kids in our family. On car trips we would play the game of who could be the quietest the longest. Mib would holler, “Wait-wait-wait! We can’t start yet; I have something I have to say!” Mib never won; she always had something to say.
With six years’ difference in our ages, Mib and I weren’t close in our younger years; our closeness began in the last few years of her life. I will always be thankful for that closeness we found; I would have missed out on so much.
Mib spent many years in an abusive relationship. I don’t know if she ever admitted it out loud to anyone, but I witnessed it, and it frightened me. That relationship isolated Mib and created a distance between her and the family. Fortunately, when Mib turned 30 years old, she found the courage to leave that life behind. She had so much support from her family, her friends, and her church that she blossomed. She shared her love, her passion, and her laughter with many. She brightened and touched more lives than she ever knew.
I remember all too well when I got a message from my Mom that I needed to call Mib. Mib told me she had been diagnosed with cancer. She said there was nothing to worry about; she was going to be okay. I had no reason to doubt her.
For seven years Mib fought her cancer with courage and grace, along with her unique sense of humor. She tried many treatments; the cancer would leave and then return. The tougher things got for her, the tougher she seemed to get, until the sudden death of our mom. That’s when Mib’s health really declined. Mom and Mib were each other’s personal support, and it was hard for Mib to go on without her.
In the summer before Mib’s passing, I spent six weeks in Pennsylvania with my dad, helping Mib. When it was time for me to return home to Arizona, we all knew her time was short. We sat in the living room and discussed my returning for Mib’s funeral. Mib spoke up and said there was no need; I had been there when it counted – when I could help – and she was thankful for the time we had spent together. My returning for the funeral was not necessary.
At the very end, Mib was kept comfortable. Loved ones, those who knew her best, kept vigil around her. Imagine their chuckles when they heard Mib say, “I’m having trouble talking!” Yes, even at the end, Mib still had something to say.
The morning of her funeral, Mib came to me in a dream. It was so clear – so vivid and real. We were in my living room in Arizona. She was sitting in the corner chair with one leg over the arm. My first thought was, “She’s comfortable.” She had been in so much pain for so long that it was a relief to see she was pain free. She told me that death was easy, and loved ones were waiting for her. That’s when I asked, “Mib, what is it like afterwards?” She looked me straight in the eye, and with the biggest smile on her face, she said, “Cyn, It’s Glory!”
I was awakened immediately and knew instantly that I had been given a gift, the most precious gift I have ever received. My last image of Mib is her sitting comfortably in my living room chair, with a huge smile on her face, giving me the assurance of life ever after.