From Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul

Are You Sure?

The heart has its reasons, which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

One day in second grade, I raised my hand and asked to be excused from class. I walked down a corridor to the fourth-grade class, knocked on the door and asked to talk with my sister. In tears, I whispered to her, “I forgot my lunch.”

Without hesitation my sister said, “Wait here.” She grabbed her brown bag, walked back to where I was standing and handed me half of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, half of her crackers, half of her grapes— even half of her oatmeal cookies!

“Here, take this,” she said.

“Are you sure?” I asked. “Even your cookies?”

She smiled and nodded yes.

“Thank you,” I said, hugging the lunch as I returned to my room.

Years later, I stood up for her in her wedding, and she stood up for me in mine. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I began the journey of medications and surgeries, hoping to get some relief from the pain and to preserve my ability to bear children.

Meanwhile, this same sister became pregnant. While she was preparing for birth, I was preparing for my fourth surgery; a hysterectomy.

This time my loss was bigger than a lunch, and my sister couldn’t rescue me. Still, when she and her husband asked my husband and me to become legal guardians of their newborn daughter if something should happen to them, across the years my heart could hear her say, “Here, take this.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

She smiled and nodded yes.

“Thank you,” I whispered, hugging their beautiful daughter close to me.

Penny Perrone

More stories from our partners