Twenty-five years ago today I lost my little sister. She battled cancer for two years, before slipping into a coma shortly before I arrived home from college for the weekend. My mother met me in the driveway before I entered the house to prepare me, but I shook her off – I just wanted to get in and see her, to do what I had to do. It’s difficult to explain now, but I felt an urge to get to her. I knew the end was near, but I had no experience to know how this worked. I do remember playing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on our tape player for her, hoping that the music made its way in. During some of my alone time with her I also told her it was OK with us if she wanted to go. I later learned this is something a lot of dying people need to hear, but I said it out of instinct. Whether she heard it, or needed to hear it, well, only she knows.
A group of her friends came by to see her the next evening, and we later learned that as they passed our house a few hours later on their way home, they saw the hearse in the driveway. We like to think she waited till she could “say goodbye” to everyone before she left us.
Today my daughter Krystal shares her name, which was intentional. And my daughter Belle shares her birthday, which was a happy coincidence.
She lived for 17 years – it’s surreal that she has been gone for half again as long as she was on this earth. Where does the time go?