I normally don’t get maudlin on here and try to keep it light and funny, but I had to post this. I need to post this, so please, bear with me and later I can be my usual jovial self, but not right now.

Today I finally figured out why I have had such a bad week and why I’ve been so depressed and I have to thank Tricia who is celebrating her birthday today. Today she is 12yrs older than I am. The same age my sister would be if she were still alive. You see, my beloved sister died 1 week before her 44th birthday. That was 22yrs ago and it still hurts. It is still depressing and there is still a void in my heart that only she could fill.

I didn’t have the greatest family in the world. They were not Ward and June Cleaver, but then many people grew up in a less than ideal home. It was hell most of the time but the high point for me was my sister. She was the one person I could trust and I knew that she loved me and she was never afraid to show me that she did.

My mother was in the hospital with a broken neck due to a car wreck when she found out she was pregnant with me. Due to weird circumstances, that I won’t go into since that is a story all on its own, my mother was in the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy and for a year after my birth. My sister was taken out of school to stay home and take care of me. So in essence, she raised me. We had a bond that was different and stronger than many sisters could ever have. She could have resented me for missing a portion of her childhood and being thrust into the role of adult, but she didn’t. She just loved me.

She died from cancer. I watched her suffer through 3yrs of fighting the disease and losing. She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. They thought they got all of it. Seems like they missed the mark completely as the breast cancer was actually the secondary cancer but at that time, they didn’t have body scans so the doctors didn’t realize that they had it wrong. Her primary cancer site was in the bronchial junction of her lungs. Irony is, she never smoked, nor did her husband. She developed breast, ovarian and brain cancer as the disease spread from her lungs. She had surgeries and underwent chemotherapy but to no avail.

I got to spend a week with her and we watched movies, went to Las Vegas and talked about her dying. At this point she was resigned to her pending death. She was okay with the inevitability of the progression of the disease and could calmly discuss it. I was a wreck knowing that this was the last time I would have with her. I knew that the next time that I saw her family it would be for her funeral.

I waited for that phone call for six months and then it came. My husband and kids were outside in the yard when it came and I remember walking outside, going to my husband and sobbing into his chest. I felt like a part of my soul was ripped out.

I am almost ashamed to admit that her death was more traumatic to me than our mother’s death a few years prior. I was much closer to my sister and to this day, it still hurts that she is gone. I don’t think about her every day anymore. And it seems that after all these years that I go through this depression every year at this time and don’t realize why until something brings that “aha” moment and I really look at the calendar and I remember that this is when she died and that next week is her birthday.

Time heals most of the hurt, but not all. I can write this without crying a river but there is a lump in my throat. And I’m sure if I get out the few photos I have of her that I would bawl my heart out, but the saddest part of all of that is she is the only family member that I still mourn.

My parents are dead and my siblings, but out of all of them, she was the only one that I truly loved. She was my safe haven, my rock. I still wish I had her to turn to with my problems and joys. She was here for the birth of my children but not for the other milestones of their lives. They never got to know their Aunt and the special person that she was.

I love her. I miss her.

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