Monday, June 17, 2013

Waiting for my Sister

While Mom is in rehab and I only get to visit her about two hours a day, I spend my evenings at my sister's brother-in-law's house, using the wifi and enjoying cable tv that isn't all about Jesus or home shopping.

It's weird being here. There are so many signs of my sister, it feels like we've all been flung in different directions and I'm the first one home. When that used to happen when I was in  college, I would cook dinner. Only now, no one is coming home.

It's still so hard to admit she's gone. She's still here.  There's her lip gloss beside her favorite chair. I take a nap in it and realize the blanket still smells like her. My brother-in-law gives me clothes of hers for me and my mother. I bury my face in them, breathe her in and cry.

Her favorite candles and lotion are still in the bathroom. Magazines she was reading are still dog-earred and waiting for her to pick them up again. I find devotional  books for people with cancer. One of them was given to her by a friend who passed  a year and a half before Patsy. I flip through them to see what passages she may have read. Did she find comfort in those leaves? I can't tell...

Her angels - she started collecting them over 20 years ago, early in round one of her battle - are everywhere in this house.  

I find her suduko book and marvel at her ways. I love seeing her writing there. She finished her puzzles one by one, front to back, easy to hard. And even though the answers were in the back, she never looked. But she would X out a puzzle in frustration.

And I can see how her hand was less certain near the end of her work in this book. I can see her struggle...

Her medication is here, in front of me on the kitchen table. Suppositories for pain, pills for nausea, diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath, anti anxiety and the endless collection of eye drops she required to soothe her eyes from her last round of chemo.

I know she is better off. I asked her to come visit me before she died and she has...twice. Most recently when, for a few minutes, I thought Mom was having a heart attack in the hospital. I'm at peace that she's not in pain any more.

But sitting here in her house, knowing we're all supposed to move on and feeling that I'm the only one who has not, it feels like I'm just waiting for my sister. Just waiting for her to get home.  I think I'm gonna wait a little while longer.


harrispen said...

I can't imagine how you are feeling having not lost a sibling, but it sounds like your brother in law is also still waiting for her to come home. I don't think there ever is a time table that you have to stick to that tells you when to move on. It will happen when the time is right for you.


♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Having lost my only sibling, my brother, when he was only 27, I can sympathize with your feelings. Time does heal the pain, and you will come to take joy in those little memories. Hugs to you.

Mollie said...

I am an only child so I can't imagine what it must be like.. Time does heal. Sending you big hugs xxx00xxx

Mollie and Alfie

Linda@VS said...

This is a beautiful post, Patsy. The part about the blanket smelling like your sister especially resonates with me. When my mother passed away, my younger daughter moved Mother's sewing machine in it's handsome wooden cabinet from Mother's home in Texas back to my daughter's home here in Louisiana. For years my daughter told me that every time she opened the doors on the cabinet, she could smell Mother's house, and it never failed to give her feelings of nostalgia.