For anyone who knows me, there are several things that I don’t talk a lot about. I don’t put my business in the street. I don’t talk about family stuff with very many people. Why would I? Everyone has a jacked up family, right? But last week my sister died. My family dynamic has always been a little caddy-wompus, but even with our guilt ridden childhoods based around religion and addiction and strict discipline, we loved each other. But you can’t blame your childhood for stuff once you are an adult, right?! As a parent, I know that this guy didn’t come with any instructions for perfection. I am doing the best I can, right now, with what I’ve got! So, having said that, we aren’t a perfect family, but then again, whose is? We haven’t always been wonderfully generous and kind and quick to forgive one another, but again, I ask, who has?
My sister and I weren’t what I would call close. We are 6 year apart in age, so by the time I was around 12, she had already moved out of the house and was at college. I don’t know that we even really had a relationship until I went to college as well! When I was 21, I got engaged to a drug dealing, gang banger who was my whole world. I was so in love with him and couldn’t see strait. All I wanted was him. I wanted the whole world to love him as much as I did. They didn’t. She was the only person who celebrated my engagement—thus making her my new BFF at the time. When I called off my wedding and walked away from that relationship, she supported me. When she wanted to sell her cute townhome that I was totally in love with, she offered it to me. I was able to buy it from her and her family. What a blessing that was!!! It’s the home I own and currently live in with my son. Our life, as sisters, has taken many twists and turns. But at the end of the day, we were sisters.
I don’t know what I would have said to her differently. It had been quite some time since we had talked. It helped that she lived several states away. Life choices made me feel that I had no choice but to keep my distance. I don’t regret any of that. But I am sad for how her life ended. I am sad, most of all, for her kids and my parents. My parents are broken like nothing I have ever seen. All I can do, is be there for them. All I can do is continue to pray for them. All I can do is continue to love them and allow them to go through this.
I am now choosing to celebrate the vivid, awesome, outgoing, fun, sassy, smart, funny, loud drug free, alcohol free, sober version of my sister. I want to remember the amazing Doctor she was. I am choosing to remember the great Mom she was. I desire to remember the funny, goofy girl who was obsessed with hair and nails. I desire to remember the person, who laughed out loud a lot; who was a loyal friend. I am remembering the swimmer, the lover of life, the woman who dreamed big. I don’t negate the other sides to her. I don’t condone those other sides. Part of our rift was that I wouldn’t enable or co-dependent those other sides either. Hell, those are the sides that led to her early death. Three husbands and three kids later, she is dead.
Sissy, my final prayer for you is that you can finally rest in peace. I will see you on the other side. I just know I will.
I am thankful for family—by blood or by choice. K and I are so blessed with so many friends who we consider and call family. Our lives are also very full of enormous amounts of love from biological family. We are truly grateful!