Saturday, September 17, 2011

worse than any tumor pain

pic 1) right before we left for the football game sep-17-99. pic 2) emily and i dressed at sumo wrestlers, such a fun time. pic 3) us at a blow hole in maui, so much fun! pic 4) my favorite picture of the two of us. pic 5) my beautiful sister before she left for a dance her sophomore year.
for those of you who don't know, my sister died in a car accident 12 years ago today. i went through 10 years of denying the pain. finally in 2010 i began the grieving process, it hurt so bad i have actually pushed it away again. since most of you have started reading my blog only recently, i wanted to share with you this part of my life from a post that i wrote last year on this 'anniversary' in my old blog titled 'and so i wrote'...

"i couldn't fall asleep last night. my mind was racing and time kept sticking its tongue out at me. tick tock tick tock. sooner or later, midnight would strike and again it would be September 17th. i hate that date with a fiery passion. i pretend that it is easy to look on the bright side of the story, but deep down it fills me with anguish and battles that i never picked up a sword to fight. that date, dare i say it again is the day that my older sister died. here i am 11 years later and it feels just as rotten as the first year the date hit again. the pain of it is equivalent to abandonment. she was more than my sister. she was my leader, she was the one i went to for it all. not my mom or dad, it was her. all my identity, confidence, sense of worth was from her. nobody could give me those things like she could. 11 years ago today, i had my life all lined up before me. even now, this time of day, she was still here.
i remember so clearly, thank you Lord for your gift you gave me. as i was rushing down to the locker room to get ready for practice, i saw her walking into the parking lot with her friend kylie. that very usual circumstance turned into one of the biggest most valued moments in my life, for as i walked through the doors of the locker room, a very audible voice said to me "if that is the last time you see your sister, will you be satisfied?" i almost ignored it, because i didn't know what it was and i was 45 minutes late to practice.... but then i felt a tug in my gut. i knew i couldn't ignore it. i ran back upstairs and watched her walk by the spirit rock swinging her water bottle in one hand and using the other to gesture whatever it was that she was talking about. i soaked in all the details and watched her disappear into the parking lot. then i ran back downstairs to the locker room changed my clothes and went to practice. the whole time during practice...i tried to stay positive and not let myself think that i was actually never gonna see her again. i kept looking at my watch, stomping on fallen leaves and singing "all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey"...i looked at my watch again 4:17........and then i really belted it out, i was soo afraid. "CALIFORNIA DREAMIN ON SUCH A WINTERS DAAAAAY"..... 4:20. i knew, i actually knew what was happening right then, i just didn't want to believe it. i tried to put it in the back of my mind and think positive. we get back to the school from our run and her volleyball partner came up to me and said "WHERE is emily?" initially i thought she was being stupid and skipped practice, but then it crept into my mind again.....she's gone.
there was a football game that night so a few of us cross country gals went and got 'made up' with school spirit. i tried to ignore my gut feeling and decided that my sister WAS gonna be at the game....and everything was gonna be normal. as i painted paw prints on my (now) best friend 'noi's' arms all i kept thinking was 'tonight i'm finding out emily is dead' though it sounded bogus because who thinks like that? i tried to keep it to myself.
we get to the game, emily's 2 best friends (emily p. and heather) were hugging each other and crying. I run up to them....'whats wrong? is it emily? where is emily?' they didn't know, she was supposed to meet them there. they were afraid of this same thing i was. we decide to call my parents and tell them that we don't know where emily was; that she didn't show up to volleyball practice and now she isn't even at the game. we call, 'hi mom, its me...kelly. (i used to have to distinguish which daughter i was) we don't know where emily is' on the other end of the line, my mom says the 3 words that still ring painfully in my ears 'we found her'. my heart drops like a thousand pounds. shes dead. i knew it. i had 1 ounce of faith that she was still alive. i gave the phone to her friend emily p. or heather, i don't even remember i think the other one was holding me up. we were to meet my parents in the parking lot in 15 minutes. we sat at the bleachers on the bottom row. i laid in one of emilys friends' lap. sobbing. i kept saying 'she's dead. she's dead. i know it, i know it.' nothing mattered to me at all, except needing to know the truth. and to have the truth be that she was alive. 10 minutes later we walk to the parking lot, like walking to your killer and begging him not to shoot you. there we stood waiting for my parents ...tick tock tick tock.... finally, there they were. a pair of headlights stopped and my mom got out of the back seat, she stood and looked at us, emily's 2 best friends of 10 years, and me....what could she say? how would you begin? all i needed was just the look on her face. and then, she just shook her head."NO, NO NO!!!!" i screamed. i ran past my mom, Jim and brother which were now all outside this strange car and i jumped into the back seat...laid out across it all. i screamed some more. i hit the seats, i grabbed my stomach with my knees up to my chest, it felt like someone was ripping me apart. my future life flashed before my eyes.....everything i knew, everything i expected. changed. i saw my future brides maids...all lined up. emily, slowly faded out. i saw christmas, sitting around the tree, emily vanished. i saw the finish line at all of my running events, emily vanished. emily vanished from all of my life.
the rest of the night is a blur. they directed us into some office area where we were later joined by most of the rest of the crowd watching the football game. both our cheerleaders and the opponents. principles, coaches, football players...everyone. i cried in a hidden room, kelsey...God bless her never left my side. i couldn't handle hearing the word 'died' i still didn't even know how it happened. i didn't want to know. if someone started saying how, i told them to shut up. i couldn't know yet. after about an hour(?) our pastor drove us to our grandparents house, we still needed to tell them. on our way there i asked how it happened. i pressed my forehead against the cold window and gazed out at some passing flowers as someone told me. "a car accident honey, she was..." i interrupted "ok stop" i said, i wasn't ready for details. we arrived at my grandparents, oh i couldn't bare it....i ran to the bathroom immediately and put my fingers in my ears as hard as i could and hummed to myself. but nothing, could keep me from hearing my grandparents whaling. i can still hear it. we slept on there living room floor that night. when i woke up....i kept my eyes shut....i told myself that when i open them that i was gonna be at home in my bed, with my sister in her bed next to me. open. no. green carpet that smells like grandmas dogs pee. definitely not home. i look in the kitchen and they are reading the headlines of our local paper and talking about her death. headlines read "sully's loss leave broken hearts" artical continues to say: 'car accident' 'at 4:19...died instantly'... too much death. too much of that word, i ran into the back room, i let a few tears fall. i needed to be strong right?"

i'm actually gonna interrupt last years post right there, lets just say i barely cried at all for the ten years to follow regarding her death. it was obviously not a good way to handle it. through complexes, anger, self afflicted pain, crazy ideas what a 'true friend' is, self worth issues and many other ways that this effected me, i survived this brutal loss. today though, i am going to actively treat this day in a whole new manner. i will be sharing with you those details very soon...
i am going to end this post by adding the last paragraph of the post from last year.

"emily used to always wait at the finish line of my cross country meets or my track meets. i was so comforted in getting to that finish line no matter how painful it was to sprint to the end, because she was there waiting to catch me. I fell in her arms every time. then we walked on the grass of the field and she told me how proud of me she was. i know that at the finish line of my life, she will be standing there in heaven, waiting to catch me. she will then walk with me through the beautiful fields of green and tell me again just how proud of me she is.

God taught me a very valuable lesson Sep-17-1999, 'never let a loved one walk away, but if they must go, turn and watch them until the disappear' I'm so glad i did."

1 comment:

  1. Wow,what a heartfelt post, about your sister, thanks for sharing such a personal time in your life.

    God bless you