I remember the last time I saw him. He was standing on the roof of his mother’s garage. He was going to work that night; he worked out of town as a pipe-fitter. It was not unusual for him to be leaving and I had grown used to saying goodbye. I’ll have that vision in my head always, of him standing there and waiving, calling out goodbye and I love you baby. He always called her baby, he thought Paige was too grown up of a name for such a sweet little girl. And then there was the phone call, that hair-raising bone-chilling phone call that changes your life forever and Iknow that you can never go back, you cannot fix it, you cannot undo it … it’s over. And I still miss him. I think of him often and I send love and light to the universe for him so he knows he was loved deeply and forever missed.
I remember the last time I saw her. I knew it was the last time and I couldn’t stop crying. She said don’t cry for me … It’s okay… I’ve accepted this… They gave me a year and I’ve had a year. But I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to say goodbye to a friend who taught me so much about life and about the woman I want to be. A friend who made me laugh when life wasn’t really very funny. The woman who didn’t have a chance to grow old but had the courage to wear purple with a red hat and go out in slippers in the rain. And when the phone call came that I had been expecting but dreading, I still wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Are you ever really ready for the last time? I still hear her laugh sometimes.
I remember the last time I saw her. She was going through a really difficult time … so was I. She had been feeling suicidal and talking about it a lot. I felt so powerless and overwhelmed. We have always been so close that it felt like more of a mother daughter relationship than sisters but now the little sister was trying to help her big sister who was struggling with her mental illness. She was angry with me. I had discussed my concerns about her suicidal rants with my brother and she felt betrayed by me. I’ll never forget how she looked at me the last time I saw her. Two weeks later on a Sunday morning I received that hair-raising, bone-chilling phone call changes your life forever and you know that you can never go back, you cannot fix it, you cannot undo it … it’s over. The coroner’s report said it wasn’t suicide but that didn’t matter to me, what mattered to me was that she was gone. I miss my sister more than words can ever express, it’s like there’s this big empty spot in my heart and I still have so many regrets.
I often wonder when the next last time is going to happen and that’s the tricky thing about life, we usually don’t know. What I do know is that no matter what, I’ll always remember the last time.