Tomorrow we are celebrating you. It will have been one year since I heard your voice. One year since our last conversation. 524,160 minutes since you said goodbye to me or good night to your kids. 364 days since your smile lit up a room. A long time? A blink of an eye. What ever. I miss my sister. I miss my friend. I know we weren't always on the same page but that never stopped us from being in each others story. My story goes on now with out you. I can not even begin to count the number of times I wanted to call you. The many many things I wanted to laugh about with you. I have my memories. I wish my memory worked as well as yours did. I try to write stuff down because I know I will forget. So super thankful for pictures.
At your funeral last year when people started coming into the church to see you for the last time laying there in that pretty box, with the beautiful flower on top of the lower half, not looking so much like yourself (mostly because you weren't in there, I guess) I hid. I stepped in to a dark room and peaked out the window and watched people walk by. I knew they’d know who I was but I have such a bad memory. I watch and thought how good you’d be there. How you use to go to things with me and remind me who all the people were. I was thinking how good you were with me at the last funeral we went to together and how you told me who all the relatives were when I had no clue. And how you were good at small talk. And how we’d find a way to make it ok. And have inside jokes and not be so sad. Before any one else was there that day of your funeral I went in and looked at your body and was “alone” with you for the last time. My heart just ached, sadness, loss, and grief consumed me. I crumpled to the ground and cried softly. I looked up and mom was waiting in the doorway for me to finish my silent last goodbye.
One year since I heard your voice. I year and 3 weeks since out last selfie. Now I know why my tears wouldn’t stop as we separated that last day of vacation. Here in this life we can’t change what was. We can only change what will be and what we will become. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to love, to believe and to keep living. We can learn from others. (It took me 30 years to believe this for myself.) I am so lucky you were my sister. I never thought I’d be in this world with out you. I hope you are finding the happiness you always deserved. I miss you. I miss car phone blue tooth calls with you and your boys. I miss you making me laugh.
I shared this conversation a few times recently:
You: So how is the air up there on your high horse?
Me: Really nice. You should come up here and join me.
Ha.I really wish you would have.
So, tomorrow 364 days since any of us talked to you, laughed with you, selfie photographed with you, 364 days since we saw those beautiful blue eyes and the smile that took over your whole face, we will be getting together; sharing bacon and other foods and remembering you. My sweet sister.
As I have been writing this and as the tears stream down my face I have a montage of images of you and our life together and your life passing through my mind. This 34 year slide show. I see your ringlets from your youth. I see you eating watermelon in grandma Graves yard. I see you excited in 2rd grade because you got the teacher you wanted. I see you laying on your couch hugely pregnant with Drew letting me draw a face with your belly button as the nose. I see you laughing on StarTours because Aunt Lorraine looked like she was at church. I see you jumping on a rope in a barn in Oregon and jumping on the stage at the county fair and convincing me and Melissa to join you to entertain the fair goers. I see you laying in the hospital about to give birth to Kindsey. I see you at mom and dads house in Florence reading a book. I see you sitting on the stairs in our house in Alta Loma singing to the dog Peekie that she was the only one who caaares for you. I see you at Disneyland holding grandma Kerns hand as we wait in line for Peter Pan. I see you in so many more images. I see you last year as we pull out of rest stop laughing as we were side by side on the freeway waving out last and final goodbye. I know I will see you again one day. I will always love you. I will always care for you. I will never “just let go because she is gone.”