My sister was a ray of sunshine. She was nearly 10 years younger than me, but she grounded me. Her free spirit and my controlling nature clashed on more than one occassion, but overall we brought out the best in each other. She, my vivacious, spontaneous side, and me her astute, responsible side. We both envied the other for our qualities. Two complete opposites, but complementary and loving....most days.
She was taken away quickly. It was a Thursday morning, and I was mulling around on babycenter.com trying to find some amazing way to knock myself up (we'd been trying for a baby for just over a year at that point) while waiting for a friend to pick me up for lunch and pedicures. It was a warm September day. The phone rang, and it was my grandma. When I answered, she asked me if I was at work. I laughed at her saying, "um, you called me at home." Then she told me. I immediately accused her of making a horrific joke, but she assured me it wasn't a joke, my 18 year-old sister had been killed in a car accident. I needed to get to my moms house (2200 miles away) as soon as possible.
The hours and weeks that follow that moment blend together. I got to my moms house, and saw the strongest woman I'd ever known in pieces. Pieces that I would later, to this day, help pick up, one by one. I planned her funeral, because as everyone else was frozen with grief, I was pushing it down doing what needed to be done. It wasn't real. To this day, sometimes, it. still. isn't. real.
Today I woke up missing her. My sister. My angel. My love. When she died, a part of me came alive. I realized that I couldn't live everyday planning for what may or may not happen next. I didn't absolutely have to go to bed by nine o'clock to get up for work at five. I could enjoy my evening, and be tired. I learned to laugh at myself. I learned to live every moment, because it could be my last.
I swear that movie, "In Her Shoes" would have been a mirror image of us as adults. Clashing our way along in this crazy world, but loving each other to pieces.
The reality of it all though, the essence of this day that I'm having where I miss her so much it's almost intolerable, is that it's never going to be OK. My life has gone on, I have kids, a husband, a job, many, many blessings. But that day, the day I lost her, the fact that I lost her will never be OK. It's not OK. And no matter how much time passes between that day, and the current one, I will always miss her. The empty place in my life because of her passing is real. So today, I shed a few tears, looked at some pictures, prayed, spent some time alone, and will watch her memorial DVD tonight after the girls go to bed. I am so lucky because my sister changed my life. I got to watch her grow up. She was amazing.
Her spirit, her heart, her love is with me. That much I know is true. I carry it in my heart. It's like that E.E. Cummings poem they recite in the movie: