Note — This was written a few weeks ago and not published until now. Since this time I’ve plunged back into my twice weekly yoga classes, portrait drawing group, and am back to cooking some good fresh vegan fare. Things seem more manageable. One thing I’ve learned is to take time and be kind — to yourself and those around you.
At the beginning of October, I jumped on a plane and rushed to be with my sister in Maumelle, AR. She was experiencing severe health problems, and her daughter — who had been visiting and checking on her — had to leave. I remember I texted her, asking if she needed me to come out — and “Yes” was the answer. So I did.
Two months after that, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, she was gone.
I had been there for her diagnosis — multiple small cell cancer tumors throughout her body. It was devastating news, but she took it stoically, as though she already knew. And she decided right away, with very little hesitation, not to fight it. She didn’t want to go through the side effects of Chemo, the false hope (in her mind), so she refused treatment and signed up for hospice care. What followed was a swift decline, coupled with a very unfortunate fall and hip fracture. Her daughter came out to stay until the end, a loving heroic effort which left her raw and drained.
It all happened so fast. By December, my husband and I were flying out to Arkansas for the memorial service, which had been planned, for the most part, by my sister. It was beautiful, tasteful and so so sad. Many friends left behind, and all of us reeling by her sudden departure.
Just a week after returning from this, we were off again to Minnesota. We had planned over six months prior to attend my husband’s family Christmas gathering and to look at some houses back there. We are contemplating moving there within the next year or so. Difficult timing, and as a good friend told me “you’ve just had a huge loss, and the idea of losing your home and the community you’ve become accustom to is probably too much to take on right now” — she was right.
I needed to stand still, and catch up. My body has been moving back and forth through time, space, devastating emotion. I need to get grounded.