Monday, March 18, 2013

Who would you be now?

 Today my sister has been gone for 25 years, and yet there are times when it still seems like yesterday.  Yesterday, that I was sitting along side her bed in the hospital, listening to her labored breathing and wanting to breathe for her. 

Some of my greatest sorrows are that she never had the opportunity to become who she might have, and that she never got to really know my children, or her two nephews and the niece who is named after her. These are my greatest sorrows, yet they are not the only ones. 

My greatest sorrow is that time is blurring my memories of her and that she may one day fade away and be completely gone from me. 

I can remember coming in late one night after babysitting and finding her on her bed in the room we shared, crying because "she had no friends."  I think she was in middle school, such a difficult and transitional time in any child’s life.  I remember sitting next to her and putting my arms around her while she cried, trying to reassure her that she would have friends, and silently fuming that I suspected her peers were making her feel like this.  She was maybe 12 and I was 17 or 18.....we didn't have a whole lot in common, yet I understood her pain having had to live through that period in time myself.  I can also remember coming home late again, three years later, and finding her reading in bed, clutching a crucifix in her hand to ward off evil as she read some scary book, and laughing at her.  By then, she had friends.  

After getting married at almost 21 (way too young I might add), we didn't spend much time together and I have so much regret about that. I was busy with my new life and she was busy going to college at FIT. My mother would regale me with stories of her numerous apartment adventures in NYC, and about her occasional jobs, one working in a little store in the village that sold hand-made glass ornaments and another, managing the life of a woman who was an addict and probably a good 10 to 15 years older then she.  Regina went to NA with her, paid all her bills and generally looked after her.  The store is long gone now, yet I still have the snowflake that she gave me from there and it hangs on my Christmas tree every year.  I have no idea what happened to the woman, perhaps she is long gone as well.

What I do know is that by then, she was very cool. She was one of those artsy people who could pull off short, lavender streaked, blond hair with big earrings and yellow nail polish. She would breeze into my kitchen and sit on the floor with Erin, who as a 3, 4, 5 and 6 year old, just adored her. I am sad that my son, who was a baby when she died, has no memories of her.  He has no memory of her coming into the kitchen while he was crying in his walker, and of her picking him up to comfort him, or of his last visit with her in the hospital when I passed him to her so she could hold him one last time before she left. 

I would like to think that she would approve of the people we've all become, even if it took some of us longer to get there then others.  I would like to think that she would have no patience for some of the ridiculousness that has taken place in our family over the years, just as I have no patience with it.  

I know that she would stand up next to me as a champion of our niece, her namesake, when our brother is being unreasonable in regard to letting her become the independent, responsible, awesome, almost adult that she is.  She would have gone to concerts, soccer games, high school graduations and weddings.  I know that she would have been a major support in my effort to get a new life, and cheered for me and held me up along the way, that she would have welcomed Jeff, Yvette, and Blake into our family and that she would be so excited about the impending arrival of my granddaughter, Ella, and of my other yet to be known grandchild due to arrive in Nicholas' family in September.  

I know that she would have loved our careful and thoughtful nephew, Zachary, and delighted in his desire to play the cello on a street corner with a hat out, and relished the zest with which his brother, Jacob, lives his life as he races up and down the street on his scooter, stopping in to our parents house to eat....... because everything always smells so good there.  She would have just been crazy about our niece Regina, who has followed in her summer job footsteps at the Davis Park Ferry Company and would have encouraged her to be more of a risk taker, although a responsible one for sure.

I know that she would have been an awesome high school art teacher, that she would still take no crap from our father if she felt he was wrong, and that she would have continued to do interesting and thoughtful things with, and for our mother, including shopping, an activity that I am not particularly fond of. 

Who would you be now had you been able to live your life

Memories of you are like gems that sparkle in the sunlight. 

I miss you every day and I will love you for the rest of my life.  

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very touching account of your love for your sister, which makes your love for her come alive in your recollection of how your lives were intertwined at times. So much of our lives are spent alone, yet even mundane tasks if shared makes those shared moments shine with a brilliance that all too often only shows when we look backwards. I think sometimes that only as children do we appreciate moments of simple coexistance.

~CrazyGooGrl~ said...

Anonymous....thank you for your lovely comment.
~S~

Michaela said...

I lost someone very close to me only a few months ago, and I plan on writing a diary of all the special memories I have of her, that way I wont forget. And if you were to do the same, your children, grand-children will get to see how much she meant to you. It was a beautiful and honest account of your sister. And I find that it's easier to write about it, it helps us to open up.

Michaela said...

I lost someone very close to me only a few months ago, and I plan on writing a diary of all the special memories I have of her, that way I wont forget. And if you were to do the same, your children, grand-children will get to see how much she meant to you. It was a beautiful and honest account of your sister. And I find that it's easier to write about it, it helps us to open up.

DesertRose said...

Really lovely and heart-felt piece. So much longing and nostalgia.