I had a major meltdown on my way home from work tonight. I mean snot dripping, mascara in my eyeballs, pull the car over to the side of the road before I kill myself trying to drive kind of meltdown. I actually had a pretty decent day until the drive home. I suppose being in the car, having a moment of quiet where I could finally think had something to do with it. Anyway, as I was driving home, I realized it was eleven years ago today that mom died. One minute my mind was racing with work crap and the next minute I’m reliving mom’s last breath. So, I did what I have always done in times like this. I reached over and grabbed my cell ready to hit “Kelly”. As soon as the phone was in my hand and I realized what I was about to do, I came unglued. I’m so tired of this dead sister thing and it hasn’t even been one month yet. How am I going to survive this?
I wonder about so many things? Are you with mom and dad? You were always saying to me how you just wanted to go be with them. Remember how much that pissed me off? Sometimes I thought that was why you said it and other times I thought you really meant it. Most of the time, I knew you really meant it. That’s why I got so pissed with you. It scared me. I didn’t want you to want them more than me. I desperately wanted you to want to stay.
The night you died, I was so angry that you waited for me to leave the room before dying. After you were gone and the nurse said you probably needed Char and I to go before you could leave, I wanted to throat-punch her right there on the spot. I didn’t want to believe that. I still don’t. I thought about the last two days I spent with you. I thought about all the things I had whispered in your ear. How many times did I tell you not to worry, that I would look out for David and all your animals? I told you everything would be okay, that it was fine for you to go. I mean seriously, Kel, how many people have I walked this road with before? Sisi, Mom, Dad, Lucy and Uncle Lou. I did the hospice training thing, read the books, took the classes, watched the videos. I get it. I know what to say and I said it to each and every one of you. I did my best to walk each of you eternally home. I wanted to be there. Every time.
Then tonight I had a thought. Maybe, when we come to the end of our lives, we don’t just hear the spoken word. Maybe, just maybe, we hear the words people’s hearts are holding. If that’s true then you needing me gone before you could die would make sense, I suppose, because I remember the words of my heart oh so well.
For two days, my lips told you to go and be well with mom and dad. For two days, my heart screamed, “Don’t leave me!” That’s it, isn’t it? You heard the cry of my heart. I think I knew it all along.
Can you still hear it?
I love you,