Friday, July 31, 2009

my sister is dead

I am in an unnaturally calm state now. I got the call this morning from my mom. It took me half an hour or more to believe it. My kid sister has always been there when anyone needed her. I've been complimented for writing strong women, and my sister was the first reason why. She was fearless. I try to remember her being frightened of anything in her life, and I fail. She would jump off of buildings and dive from tall heights and do all the things that terrified me.

Okay, not so unnaturally calm now. I wrote something for my mom and sister not long ago. I was not exaggerating.

She was my kid sister, but she supported me in every way I can imagine.

It appears she had a stroke. When she didn't answer the phone this morning, a neighbor went to check on her. Mom and Dad have seen her. Dad says she looked like she was about to smile. That's some comfort.

My parents don't want my brother or me to come up yet. It's hard to respect that, because they're in their 80s and moving slowly, but I've agreed to check in with them each day until they say to come. They have many friends up there, so I'm making the call to respect their independence and hoping that's right. But I'll be phoning them every day until it is time.

If there's someone you love that you haven't told lately, take a moment and do that today. She was my kid sister. I never thought I would outlive her. It's just so very wrong.

P.S. I don't know why I kept referring to her here as my sister. Maybe that made it easier to write this. Her name was Liz.

I hate the past tense so much right now.