A week ago, my sister had a heart attack. A week ago, my world stopped.
Thinking about anything else but her… stopped.
In the scramble of moments that come after an incident like that, you can’t help but think differently. What you’d do differently, what might still need to be said.
Thank God for technology: my brother-in-law kept us updated, the best he could, with newsy-news from home, and updates on her condition (a good prognosis now, thank you!). I texted back and forth with my niece, and she shared my quips with Sissy.
I’ve always had her in my life, you know.
The older, wiser sister coming in from a date, breathlessly telling her two little sisters about the fun times she’d had, all the while brushing her hair and looking like a Barbie doll.
The older, wiser sister, counseling me through college class choices, pestering me to keep my grades where they should be and not to spend so much time working, that work will come later.
The older, wiser sister sewing me skirts and dresses when that was the style and I didn’t have the money to afford such luxuries.
The older, wiser sister with the first grand-child, and choosing me, me(!!), to come on family trips as a “helper” –when in reality I adored his tow-headed self and he was and is my special favorite to this day.
We’ve been through so much — traditions and tears, laughter and fears, holidays and trips, weddings and funerals, milestones and challenges. At oldest boy’s wedding, a family friend commented that it was “so nice your sister could be here for you.” My response, “My sister has ALWAYS been there for me.” She beamed and then we both cried. That’s just how we roll.
She’s home now and doing well, some changes to be made but determination has set in and we talked about this last night. We laughed, we cried, and we made sure to choke out the words we both felt but had never said: “I can’t imagine a world without you in it.”
“Sisters don’t need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks — expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs — that can undermine any tale you’re telling.” ~Pam Brown