Do you see all of those smiles? That is the last time I have seen everyone smiling at one time. Sure, occasionally one slips through, but not since this day…the last good day, have I seen everyone cheesing like this.
It was a long time before I found out there were even pictures of that day, and I was very emotional about getting my hands on them. That’s me over there being shot with silly string. I was really not feeling well that day, and this was the last place I wanted to be. If I had known what that day was…that those smiles, all of them, were going to be come so scarce…that this was going to be the last good day…I would have done it differently.
This was a Sunday, and my sister and my mom had spent the whole day with my kids. After telling Mom that she had had the perfect day, Michelle teamed up with my oldest to coordinate a silly string attack. I was my usual “easily un-impressed” self and within a few seconds my sister and daughter had turned against each other. That was when Michelle tripped and fell, and she went down HARD.
Once we got her cleaned up, iced, and back to her perky self, she invited me to DQ so she could try my favorite blizzard, the Candy Cane Chill. I was way overdue to head home and I passed. My sister went to DQ and had her first and last Candy Cane Chill without me.
To say that I have regrets would be a gross understatement. I knew my sister was on borrowed time, and I took her for granted anyway. I wasted this perfect day, and even found myself wishing it away. I don’t know how I will ever reconcile my guilt, shame, and regret from that day. I don’t know how I will ever move through my grieving process, but I think some answers may be found while spending time with these pictures.
The picture above is that last picture that my sister and I ever took. It is a classic one, showing each of us in our natural roles. She as the playful and annoying little sister and me as the more serious and less fun big sister. God, she loved to drive me crazy.
The picture below is the last picture ever taken of my sister. You know there has to be a last picture, right? I guess everyone has one eventually. I am so thankful her last pictures were on a good day, a day that she was content with. I am also thankful for you and the chance to share them with you!
October 11, 2012 @ 2:57 am
I love you and thank you for sharing this with us all.
October 11, 2012 @ 6:00 am
I think this was a very hard story to write. I hope it will help you in sharing it. I don’t think that any of us who are trying to figure out how to cope are without some regrets and guilt. I found the boys “t’was the night before Christmas” book yesterday, unrecorded. You cannot imagine the number of what if’s, and I wish I had’s that have gone through my head. She was my baby and I could not protect her, I could not fix the boo boo,
But, her positive approach, her determination gave everyone the sense that she still had time, that we still had time to do all the things she had on her list to do. I knew that she was having a really bad day on Wednesday, that her going to bed so early and not even wanting her medications was a bad sign. I knew that she was getting worse and I knew why. And i beat myself royally for not staying with her that night. And then she reminds me that is not the way she wanted us to be. She did not want anyone fussing over her, she just wanted to go home, she wanted the pain to stop, she was ready for peace. She knew that everyday was borrowed, that she had exceeded the Doctor’s expectations one more time. So, when I start to beat myself up with regret I cry really hard and then I hear her chastising me. It takes a little while but, the crushing pain in my chest eases as I remember the way she wanted things to be.
I Love You……… Mom