With Christmas etching closer and closer I am trying to prepare myself for the Facebook memories I will soon be bombarded with. Memories of the worst Christmas of my life.
My sister and I had a very hostile relationship as children. I would not say it was typical sibling bickering. It was more than that. I truly felt as though she hated me and wanted me to die. I loved her with every part of my being but she pushed me away time and time again. We would argue, we would fight, we would throw things at each other. I tried so many times to just have sisterly moments with her but they were always met with insult and pain. Eventually I built up a defense mechanism and learned the buttons to press to hurt her at the very core. It helped for her to back off of me but it continued to destroy the relationship I longed to have with her.
My sister was an angry person. She hated my mother for leaving my father. The bitterness lasted between them even through my mothers battle with cancer decades later. My sister had little to no respect at all for our mother and, because I was always a mamma’s girl, her hatred passed on to me as well. Finally, after years of begging and making life a living hell for me and Mom, my sister finally went to live with our father. We were both in our early teens at this point.
Her and my father were best friends. He did everything for her including getting her out of trouble a number of times. He was her rock and someone she could always count on whenever she needed any kind of help. My sister being able to flourish in the love and strength of our father helped to finally bring her and I closer together. We stopped fighting and started to build that relationship I always wanted. At 16 my sister gave birth to her first child. My first nephew. He was beautiful, he still is. She was building a family of her own, our own family was getting stronger and then it all came crashing down.
On July 8, 2003 our father passed away suddenly. I was crushed but, she broke. Life as she knew it no longer had meaning. Her downward spiral into addiction got a kick start and she didn’t care about anyone who tried to stand in her way. It started with drinking. A lot of drinking. Every weekend to start which eventually turned into every day. Partying hard and fast. No longer being able to hold down a job. Barely being able to care for her son, my beautiful nephew who was growing up around strangers and empty bottles.
In her mid-twenties my sister got pregnant again. This time with a baby girl. Her lack of care and empathy for others shined during this pregnancy. She drowned that pour baby in booze and nicotine every day. She was her own person and the only person who could make any impact on the situation was now long gone. My niece is a miracle. How she made it through that pregnancy blows my mind but she did, and she was and still is healthy and beautiful.
Eventually I guess the booze stopped doing it for her. She moved up to harder, stronger mood changers. Morphine, cocaine, basically anything she could get cheap and down her throat or up her nose. Deeper and deeper she spiraled. She pushed everyone and anyone away who tried to get close, who tried to help, who tried to love her.
My relationship with my husband struggled because I always ran when she called me and he couldn’t understand why. She stole from us, she cheated us, she lied as if it was all she could do. But I loved her and thought maybe showing her love and kindness would eventually help break her from this dangerous lifestyle. I knew deep down that this wasn’t going to end well. And if I went any length of time without hearing from her I always thought the worst. Then one day it did get worse. By accident, I came upon an old baby wipes container in a pile of her stuff that was left at my house by a disgruntled landlord of hers. The container broke apart any sense of hope I once felt. Blood stained metal dishes, alcohol wipes, some vitamin capsules, and at least a dozen used needles. It took everything I had to not vomit at the site of this death in a box. She has left everyone and everything behind, including her children, for this. For what? Why? Is life really that terrible?
December 23, 2016 – 2:41 p.m. I get a ping from my facebook messanger “Hey it’s [the boyfriend]. [Your sister] is gone to emerg in ambulance I finally made her go”.
She had been complaining about a pain in her arm for a few weeks now but wouldn’t go to the hospital. I am assuming out of embarrassment of the track marks down her arms. I raced up to the hospital to see her and find out what was going on. I was too late. She had a stroke, maybe multiple and was not able to talk anymore. The next few weeks were hell. She got moved around to three different hospitals. She was fighting a serious blood infection that had made its way to her heart. The infection kept exploding to her brain and causing more and more strokes. She spent the next few weeks in ICU, on life support, the doctors were doing everything in their power to get the antibiotics to do their job. But they weren’t. I spent Christmas day with my sister. Next to her bed. Holding her hand. Praying that something bigger than myself would step in. Give her a second chance. Let this be a wake up call. I had lost my father, I had lost my mother, she was all I had left and I didn’t want to let her go.
She made the choice for me though. She passed away on January 7, 2017. Age 34. Mother of two beautiful children. Sister to one very broken woman who seems to loose more than she gains.
This wasn’t supposed to be how it ended. She was suppose to get better. Make changes in her life. Surprise herself with how strong she really was. I wasn’t suppose to have this story of tragedy. But here I am. I miss her so much.