A decade later …


It has been 10 years this week since my kid sister, Darlene, took her last breath.   It seems like a life time since I have seen her, but just yesterday, the trauma.    I hear so often that time heals.   I don’t agree.   A large part of my heart was ripped out, it has never healed.  I do believe that time teaches us  how to coexist with the reality, the pain.

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 37, she died 10 months to the day later at the age of 38.  It was a travesty for all who knew and loved her.    After she died I remember thinking “How am I supposed to stop loving her?”   I think now what a senseless question because I have since learned… you NEVER stop loving them.  In fact, for me my love for her has grown.

My sister was an old soul.  She was an observer of sorts.  As a kid she would stand back and watch while my cousin Marie and I would do something, lip off, for example… She and my cousin Tina would look at each other, look at us and just “watch”.   I think, in family, she was most like our cousin Steve.  Again, quiet, observing… they would shake their heads and watch out of the corner of their eyes, sometimes with raised eyebrows…  I’m sure they were thinking “Are you nuts?  You’re going to get in big trouble!”

Darlene was a good person.  She was honest, a woman of her word, kind and had a great personality and sense of humor.   She loved to fish, snowmobile, play hockey…  A natural athlete.    She loved water and lived on a lake for the past decade and a half of her life.    She worked hard and played hard.  She loved outdoors.  She enjoyed life.

Ten years and the tears still fall.   I haven’t mentioned this anniversary to anyone in my family, as I’m hoping they could skate by it without the painful memories.   My sister, Karla, was one of her caregivers for the last few weeks of her life.  She was with her when she left this world.   I know she has thought about it, she does every year.

Next month will be the 2nd anniversary of my oldest sister’s passing.  She died at 56 of ovarian cancer.   In my almost daily talks I have with my sister I told her today I knew she was there waiting to greet Karen.   That was who she was.   She did for others and had respect for herself as well as others.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.  Some days are diamonds, some days are stone….   Sometimes I laugh out of control, other days, like today, the tears fall.  Still, today I am also able to smile and laugh at aspects of her, of our life.

For me, I have learned that there isn’t anything quite like siblings.   Most of the funniest times of my life were with my siblings, or family.

Say “I love you”, say what you need to say today as you never know what tomorrow will bring.   As mentioned earlier, I still talk to her almost daily, but I miss her eyes, her voice, her hands, her short athletic legs that in the summer looked like spoiling bananas from all the bruises from activities.  I miss her guidance, encouragement, I miss her laugh, her sense of humor, her view points.  I miss her, all of her.



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