Miracle Patients – JusJoJan

This year will mark six years since my sister passed away from kidney cancer. Her doctor called my sister her miracle patient. The normal prognosis was maybe two years, but she fought the odds for eight years before she lost her battle.

I am not sure I will ever get used to the truth that she is no longer here and I try to be thankful for all the extra years. The odds of her surviving all the surgeries and complications – there were many – were always against her. But my sister never let that overcome her will to live.

On her last birthday, she gave me a present – that was just like her. Unfortunately she gave me a plant and I am not good with plants – especially indoor plants. Since her passing, that plant has become symbolic to me of her survival. I have fought hard to keep it alive. Not an easy task for me.

We had a history with this plant – a purple passion (or velvet) plant – a Gynura aurantiaca. There was a time we both lived in Alaska. We each kept these plants in hanging pots supported by macrame hangers (yes, macrame which we both made). They were beautiful with their purple fuzzy leaves cascading in the sunlight. This was the plant she gifted to me. It was a tie to a different place and time when we relied on each other and transformed from sisters to best friends.

To say I have struggled to keep this plant alive is an understatement. It has come close to death on a few of those cold 19 degree nights. But now, that one single plant is in three small pots. That means they have a three times greater chance of survival. And survive they must. Anything else would feel like losing my sister all over again.

I know this feels sad, but if you knew my sister you would know she is somewhere laughing at me – the sister with the brown thumb – trying hard to keep one little purple plant alive. Laugh away, sis. I’ve almost made it six years! Me and my little miracle patient.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (surviving) submitted by Wendy from Wendy’s Waffle.

23 thoughts on “Miracle Patients – JusJoJan”

  1. I’m pretty useless at keeping plants alive too so I would hate feeling the responsibility to someone as you do. But you’ve now got 3 of them. Well done. I’m think your sister would see the funny side of it but also be proud of you.


    1. It is good to know I am not alone. My sister would be proud but would also get a kick out of me worrying about such a thing.


  2. Our sisters each held on long after the prognoses they were given. Mine didn’t leave me a plant, probably because she was as rotten a gardener as I am! She did leave me the encouragement to be joyful no matter what. I have not been as successful as you with the plants. But I am trying.

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  3. Maggie, I am sorry you lost a sister. One of mine has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. We stay connected through our phones, but she lives 500 miles away. Travel in this time of Covid is risky. Nothing on earth is more important to us than our families.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I’ve lost two sisters and both parents. It does get hard sometimes. I had my sisters in my life longer than my parents. I will keep you both in my prayers.


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