I look back to when I flew to London. It was a breaking point in my life. It was everything to me. It was not only a time to find myself, but to refind myself.
It was my happy place. My sanctuary. It became a dream amidst a reality that became so unpleasant. It became a time of revisiting my past. One where I felt loved. Felt one. Felt whole. Felt worry-free. I felt …at home.
You were so far away, but this time you felt so present. I was happy. Therefore I felt you were so alive. I felt so alive. You weren’t sick to me when I was there. I felt like Christy and you felt like my big sister. You weren’t sick, you were alive and well.
It felt so good to go to lunch and feel ok and not sad. It felt so good to be allowed to have fun. To enjoy the moment. To enjoy life. To enjoy the people around me. I made the best of friends and fell in love with my surroundings. I forgot about all my worries and troubles. I forgot about the countless days of stress and torture. I forgot the pain and suffering we endured together. I forgot you were sick and even when I was worried I accepted that all I could do was give positive vibes and all would be better.
I sat there, in that waiting room and truly thought things would get better. I thought you’d be able to pull through, once again like you always did, like you always have. I truly believed in the fight. I truly believed you could defeat God and gravity all in one.
Then came a time late October - so strange how instinct works. It was one of those times I felt perfectly fine yet strangely uneasy. Everyone was off for fall break - to Spain, to Germany, and elsewhere. And all I wanted to do was go…home.
So off to the States I went. I said I wanted to see my sister. And knowing she was severely sick I truly believed in the fight and downplayed the circumstances no matter how visibly extreme. I fought for what I wanted and I wanted what belonged to me. My sister was mine and no one not even God could take her from me.
I didn’t want to miss a second. I think I had randomly mentioned to my brother in law, Jack that I was thinking of visiting the family for fall break. Interestingly enough he looped back with details of a potential brain tumor. Of course it was positioned As not that big of a deal because after 3 years of the shit Mary has been through on a daily basis — update after update trial after trial news scary day after scary day— a brain tumor was nothing.
I flew home. From London to Philadelphia and an hour drive to our little town of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Probably the trashiest of places these days I’m surprised my family still lives there. Only kidding, there are still some nice parts of town!
I got to the hospital really late. Probably around 11/1130. I was so excited to see my sister. And now I remember that jeff had texted me in the airport that she had to undergo surgery and the doctor said she may not be able to speak or remember but it’s ok we will see what will happen. To me. Yes. It was scary. But. I said to myself. As long as she’s alive we will restore her to health. I’m ok with that. We’ll start over Again. We’ll get through it!
Well, luckily our girl didn’t even need our help. She was talking and smiling. A little slower. Kind of when you having slept for a while or have a bad hit from marijuana (not like id know what that feels like).
She was very very very very thin. Thinner than ever which is very very very very bad. Very thin. #VeryThin.
But it was good! I was excited to see her! She was excited to see me! I told her about all my fun escapades in London with my crazy friend Lucy and Alex and Perri and the other girls in my program. How I was so obsessed with my roommate Julia and how I couldn’t wait to bring Callie and Emme there. How I started kinda sorta seeing a British boy from Oxford? (I left out the boy(s)and changed to boy- singular). How I was completely failing school and totally DID NOT care because I was in London?!? And hello this was the first time in ages I could live cancer-free!!!
How the shopping was THE BEST and the walk to school was so pretty. How the little kids where insanely cute uniforms and ride little scooters to school. How piper would look so cute on a little baby scooter and Emme too going to preschool together.
How I wish we lived there and we’d look so cute together. Three sisters living in London away from this disease ridden town. Cute outfits. Cute babies. Cute husbands. Everything would just be so, cute.
I could tell she was happy to see me happy in that proud big sister way. Mostly not listening to a word I’m saying but just so happy to see me happy. The way she always did. She always loved me. For everything I did and helped me do everything i didn’t. She was the ultimate big sis and I altered my life to revolve around her.
Since summer 2011 my life became consumed by cancer. Consumed by the worst thing that ever came to mankind. It’s like a lingering death. An evil that tells you not to live. An awful curse that will reverse everything in your body. It will ruin you daily. It will run down your life. It will tell you you are ok one day and extremely ill the next. And by ok we mean…not needing morphine to stay comfortable. Why did you do this to her? I asked myself this everyday. Me and nearly 1000 others who came to her funeral.
1,000 - do I even know 1,000 people? The only way I could get 1,000 people to my funeral is as if I paid my twitter and Instagram followers combined in Range Rovers driven by David Beckham himself.
Anyway, it is September. And it only gets harder as time progresses. Forgetfulness is the first step. Confusion the second. The rest may be way worse. I am, months later, still in the first and second stage. When normally id be explicitly angry I feel more so lost. Constantly appearing confused, spacey, lacking presence.
What I have to say to this is - whatever.
My sister just died and obviously that is not normal — hello?!
It’s. An interesting life I lead now. Without you. I think apart of me has truly died. It left the moment you took that last breath. In that moment. I knew that my life would never be the same.
I look back. It is nearly a year and still I truly feel stuck in time. My body is stuck in time. I can’t process it. I can’t speak. I can’t think. I can’t. I just can’t. I don’t want to talk about how I feel because I don’t think I want to even think about how I feel. As if my body is fighting so hard to keep this at a distance in fear of an epic breakdown of sorts. For that I am unaware of what that would actually look like.
Perhaps it’s because I’m truly not meant to be here without you. That you are supposed to be here and I’m the one supposed to be dead? Is that it?
Sometimes — lots of times — I miss my sister. I realize I feel a little lost — about what I should be doing with my life in this very moment with the loss of a loved one complimented by an immense dedication to the very little smiling gifts that come in the form of an incredibly intelligent soon-to-be 7-year-old and a captivatingly cute 4 year-old. It’s not the fact I lost her that is the hardest, it is oddly enough trying to explain to people what is going on without mentioning what has actually happened. A lot of judgement comes with things like this whether people realize it or not, and I can feel it. Because I am the most judgmental person and I can spot it in a quick second. I, even, maybe at the top of this list of judges. Perhaps even the hardest one to beat.
I constantly juggle having such a tragedy persisting in my mind with trying to find the best ways to emulate my own personal happiness to the world. How do I convince people that I refuse to be touched by such a tragedy? More importantly, how do I convince myself? How do I stay strong for the people I love and even people I don’t know nor care about? How do I swallow fear? How do I do what makes me happy? Is there anything that really makes me happy? Is there anyone? These become more and more confusing with events like this. And here I stand. Strong and stubborn. Trying to figure the next steps in having it all while not having it all at the same time.
After all of this, I wonder who is the survivor. Me or my sister?
Snapped this backstage at Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti today #NYFW (see review on ErinJeen.com) Fashion shows are fun. Pound it.
Buter + Claypool Vintage Pop-up Boutique TODAY in D.C. at Cork Market.
Vintage clothes & wine? I’d say it’s a pretty good Saturday (despite the gross weather).
We’re watching you…
Coming home to my mother’s closet always pulls me out of my college style shlump. Combat boots and boatneck sweatshirt tees can only take me so far…