I’ll always remember the last time

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.

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