As some of you might remember, my older sister, Linda, died in March of this year after a hard-fought but futile battle against multiple myeloma, a very nasty blood-borne cancer. She’s been immortalized on Facebook by several members of the family who have put the last picture of her on their profiles as their main picture; hell, my sister’s Facebook profile continues to exist and one of the games I play, Words With Friends, continues to suggest that her style of play and mine would make for a good game. One of my nieces had the picture we used on Linda’s funeral program tattooed on her calf and almost exactly as it appears.
It’s kinda eerie and is a constant reminder that she’s no longer with us and, to be honest, I haven’t quite dealt with her loss; my mother starts talking about her and I can feel the tears forming in my eyes because Mom misses her so much… and so do I.
So, a few days ago, I was checking my email via my Outlook 2010 client and I happened to glance over to the right and saw that some family members were having birthdays coming up and a pang of grief hit me because the program dutifully reminded me that my sister’s birthday was coming up on the 24th.
Yeah, that’s today… and I’m feeling kinda sad right now because I can’t call her and give her the business for turning 57, the age she would have been had she survived, and then laugh my ass off when she does what she always did when I cracked on her about her age: Remind me that I’m older than she is so I don’t have any room to talk.
But she’s gone… and all I have are the memories and this… emptiness that continues to linger. I saw a picture of my baby sister on Facebook the other day and it reminded me of something she said to me on my birthday: “It’s just the two of us now…” and while I appreciated the birthday sentiment that preceded this quote, I thought, “Damn… that just fucking sucks…” because I had made it to another birthday… and Linda will never see another birthday.
It takes something like this to remind you that life is anything but fair and, as Shakespeare said, “Life is the only journey that ends gravely…”
A guy named G. C. Cameron wrote and performed a song that was heard in the original “Cooley High” movie called, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye (To Yesterday),” a song that was remade by Boyz II Men and while the Boyz did a nice remake, the original is just so telling, so soulful, and poignant. I was made to remember that song when our brother was killed and I find myself hearing that song in my head right now – and, yeah, I have it on my computer but I’m trying hard not to listen to it because, honestly, I don’t feel like crying or feeling sadder than I do right now.
But one day, I will listen to it… and I will sing the song, just as I did when our brother died… because it is so hard to say goodbye.