Help Our Little Sister

You know that old saying, “you don’t think it can happen till it happens to you.”  Well, that is what we are saying to ourselves right now.  Our hearts are broken with the realization that what we thought was real, may not be.   Life is not as predictable as it seems.

For those of you who don’t know, my Mom has been raising my little sisters alone for the last few years. They live in Cairo, Georgia.  My Mom works as an accountant (she is a quick books extraordinaire).  Last fall my middle sister (Deanna) moved to Atlanta to live with me while she attends KSU in the hopes of become a nurse.  My youngest sister (Michelle) attends Cairo high school and still lives with Mom.  Michelle is extraordinarily smart and is at the top of her class.  She is busy studying very hard for her SAT, maintaining her “A” average and applying for scholarships—she is desperate to move North and attend college near Deanna and I.  I am married, working in Atlanta and am currently 38 weeks pregnant with a sweet baby girl (Eleanor Mae).  I have another daughter named Hannah Rose—she is 5.


Last week, what started out as a small respiratory infection for my Mom turned into full blown pneumonia.  At this moment, my Mom is lying in bed in the ICMU at Archbold in Thomasville with a tube draining her lungs.  She has 3 main issues at play: 1) an infected mass under her left lung, 2) her lungs keep filling with water and 3) she has lost a majority of her lung function.  She is still not fully cognizant and is struggling to speak or understand reality – but we all have high hopes. 

Each of us deals with our grief in different ways.  Deanna is worried about being near Mom at all times.  I (in my typical way) am angry that this is happening and worried about how to protect my little sisters. And Michelle, she is struggling with the idea that she cant tell Mom about her day---and she is worried that her life will never be the same.


Our greatest struggle comes from the fact that Mom will likely not leave the hospital for 2 weeks –and then she will have to go to a physical rehab for several weeks after that.  She does not have short term disability or any sort of security net to lean on.  That means that her home, bills and utilities and all of my little sister’s needs must be maintained while she heals—likely 6 weeks.  There will be medical bills on top of that, but in all honesty—I can even begin to think about how those will be paid.

There are only 2 things that matter right now.  I cannot begin to express how urgent they are:

1.       That my Mom gets better
2.       That Michelle’s life remains as normal as possible---that she keeps her home, that the power stays on and that her needs are met

As so many people must say who are in a position like this, we are thankful for anything you can give.  Even $10 buys 2 lunches. 
I cannot begin to express the bond between my sisters and I.  But I am sure if you have siblings you understand—a gift to help Michelle is a blessing for all of us.  If you can do anything to help (including meals or offering support to her or my Mom), we are grateful. 


Love to you all,

Brandi, Deanna, Michelle, Liz, Hannah Rose & Eleanor Mae
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Brandi Werbalowsky 
Smyrna, GA