Today is what is known in our family as one of those “tender days.” A lot of people may not understand that term when they first hear it, but for us, it became a reality 17 years ago. It was the day we lost my sister, Pamela.
I remember the details of that day so vividly in my mind. From the phone calls trying to reach her that morning, to the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I raced out to her house only to find it surrounded by police cars and yellow “crime scene” tape. That is an image forever engraved in my mind.
Fast forward 17 years, and the beautiful baby girl my sister left behind has graduated a year early from high school. She’s grown into a beautiful young lady, so full of life, and a smile that will melt your heart.
And my heart hurts that my sister is not here to be an active part of her daughter’s life.
So many things have changed and so much has happened since my sister went away.
She was my very best friend in my adult life, and I felt like a fish out of water when she left this world. Who would I turn to when childhood memories were at the forefront of my mind? Who would I reminisce with? Who would be my lunch buddy, as we went every single work day together.
Then there were no more.
No more memories to be made with her. No more phone calls to chit chat or even to harass each other in our own sisterly playful way. No more lunches to be had, unless I sat on the grass at her grave, which I have done on occasion.
All that I have to hold on to are the memories we made when she was here and the photographs that remind me of her smile, her auburn hair, and her mischievous smile. From the childhood picture that sits on the corner hutch in my dining room, to her glamour shot pictures with her leather jacket with her all dolled up, I treasure every single one. Even the picture from 1996 with my “still stuck in the 80s hair” picture my parents insisted upon. Now I am forever grateful as I glance over at it on my makeup vanity every morning as I prepare to greet the day. Right down to the 1994 polaroid picture I snapped at my house when my sister came over to visit … we were young and playful, having no idea of what the future would hold and how short our time together would truly be.
And my heart mourns the loss.
Knowing what this day means, and feeling months ago that it might be hard to handle, I prepared as best I could in advance. I got tickets for my husband and I to go see Diamond Rio in concert last night. They are a country band that was real popular in the 90s, and two songs stand out in my mind; One More Day and I Believe. It was my way of honoring my sister in a positive way, just as I strive to do daily by living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment.