I walked about in a daze the rest of the evening. I think the only thing I managed to do was make a few calls to my kids to give them the news. I do not even remember if I cried. Being the repressor I am most of those memories were tucked safely away so that I did not and do not need to recount them.
The next day for some reason, who knows why, I went to work. I stumbled about in somewhat of a haze. Trying to gather and organize things for when I was gone. I remember sitting at my desk somewhat scattered brained when a friend came and asked me what was wrong. I broke down and blurted out that my sister had passed the night before. She looked at me in her stern way and asked me what the hell I was doing at work. I didn’t know what to say; some way of keeping my life normal perhaps. She promised to take care of things and urged me to go home which I did.
Now one thing I should put in here is that at this time in my life I was driving 150 miles each way to and from work each day. I had chosen to move back and help my daughter out who had a baby and was putting herself through nursing school. When I arrived back home I packed my bags and started out to my mother’s home which was another 150 miles away. The time on the road alone gave me a lot of time to think. I am not sure if it was a smart thing for me to be on the road when I was in such a state, yet with someone watching over me, I managed to travel safely at all times.
When I reached my mother’s home I was greeted by other family members and friends. The usual activities were in high swing and my main concern was to help my mother to cope with everything. She is not a woman who shows her feelings well or really enjoys others around when and if she does. I knew that this commotion would be driving her crazy. I managed to clear the house of most of those who did not necessarily need to be there. I thanked them for their concern and well wishes and sent them on their way. The silence was a blessing.
The same routine continued for the remainder of the day as well as into the next day. It is not that I did not appreciate the well meaning words and comfort that was being offered by those who come to offer their comfort; it was just that at this time in my life I was alone with no significant other and therefore no one to lean on when times might get a bit rough. I am not what one would call someone who easily opens up to any who I do not feel overly comfortable with. So much of my grief was being forced to be kept inside of myself until I had a moment to somehow sort and deal with it on my own.
I talked casually with those who came by yet finally I had had my fill and went and sat down in a chair in the living room. I remember at that moment feeling like the world was never going to ever be the same for me again. My big sister was gone; the one who was always there for me and who I felt that I could talk and confide in about anything. We had just begun a journey that felt like it would have brought us so much closer together and now it was over. There was no more chance of it evolving into anything more.
I felt at that moment like I was at the bottom of all the places I had ever been too. I watched the people around me and vaguely heard the words that seem to come from their mouths as they walked around and interacted with one another. The man whom my sister had been married to and had only recently divorced, sat on the sofa across the room from me. I sat and wondered if he knew just how much he had tore her heart and how much he had made her cry. Yet I also knew that she loved him with all her heart and would want him to be here with us. I watched the ones who came in with warm wishes and hugs. I watched the ones who came just to see what was going on and maybe get a piece of the infamous funeral cake that they knew was on the dining table. I wanted to curl up into a tiny ball and just disappear and no longer have to deal with the entire circus that seemed to be taking place in front of me.
It was at this moment of desperation that I heard my other sister as she strolled into the front door speaking the words that would change my life from that point forward. “Guess who just drove up, Vincent sheik. (To be continued….)