In my last post, I asked you to sit tight. In my defense, I wanted the story to have a happy ending but I didn’t know how long you would have to wait. Anyway, here goes…
I have become keenly aware of the unfolding of life as I experience this year of firsts without her. The first Independence Day without her. Her first birthday without her. My first birthday without her. Soon, the earth will have completed one revolution and we will return to that fateful point in time, Easter Sunday, the day we lost our baby sister.
In the days immediately after, I woke up every day, feeling anxious and restless. Waiting for the spark, any small circumstance, meaningless in every other context, that I knew could start a wildfire of grief that would not be extinguished. I lived those days in constant fear of that spark.
But this story, my friends, has a happy ending. Here’s why…
In these last few years, I had reduced my little Noodle to a list of symptoms and medications.
“Did you take your medication today?” I often replied abruptly to her welcoming, “Hey, girl!” greeting and adorable little face, rolling my eyes at the pack of Newports on the table as I walked into the house she shared with our parents and her son. Because I loved her, then and now, and I wanted…no, I, in fact, YEARNED for her to get better and be well. But she already knew that her body would eventually betray us both. Betrayal can only come at the hands of someone you love.
I spent countless hours researching her illness, trying to talk her into experimental treatments and new medications, wanting her to stay and fight – not knowing, or rather not accepting, that she very elegantly and courageously decided that her physical body wasn’t the battleground that mattered to her. She understood that we are not our bodies that we are our spirits. And she set about sharing her spirit with everyone that came in contact with her. She was completely accepting of everyone exactly as they were, flaws and all. You never had to be anything or anyone other than you were to be accepted by my sister. This was her spirit – total acceptance. That’s why everyone loved her instantly and always.
But really, all this spirit stuff, though? Ugh…I couldn’t…so intent was I on salvaging the body with which she had long since and happily parted ways. Her medical records indicated “Do Not Resuscitate” because she was larger than this physical life and she looked forward to being on her way. Everyone saw it but me, but watching her let go, I learned her in an instant. See, I didn’t meet my sister for the first time until that Resurrection Sunday.
I know, right?
Since then, I am with her every day as she is with me. I am coming to know her better now than I knew her during her short time with us. I see her…finally. And she is lovely and perfect. In spirit and indeed. I promise her every day, I will never make that mistake again. I will never allow the physical realm to interpret the person that God intended. That ability to see others is her legacy. It’s her gift to me. I mean that. I see her and I see you.
All of that said, this is the last time I will share publicly about my sister’s death (although I’m always willing to share about her life.) Thank you all for the kind words and show of support these last few months. I am finally going to be okay. She will see to it.
Now, quick…somebody say something funny!