my sister’s smile and laugh were so contagious that if she started it, everyone joined in. her laugh is the thing i hear most in my head on the days i can’t help but miss her. she left this world a year ago today and things aren’t any easier. my friend jj told me it will get easier to adjust to the new normal of life without her. i listened to india arie today “i’ve been learning to live without you, but i miss you sometimes. the more i know the less i understand. and all the things i thought i figured out, i’m learning them again.”
india arie always know’s what to say. i know that’s not her song but she introduced me to those lyrics. and so i give her credit. but even those words aren’t enough to make the tears stop. i spent the day crying off and on. i’m not sure how this works, but the loss felt just as strong on the anniversary as it did the day i looked at her lifeless body laying on the couch. i know she’s in a better place. and i know her suffering is over, but it doesn’t make me miss her less.
i was there the day she said i do to my brother, becoming my only sister. i was a brides maid and honestly, i couldn’t wait for her to be my matron of honor when it was my turn. i was there when she gave birth to my nephew on my birthday. it was like the greatest present ever. and i just knew she would be there for when it was my turn. she would be standing next to me holding my hand. but that will never happen and it makes me sad.
i’m not the only one who is missing out. the kids won’t get those kinds of moments either. they are so strong and have left me in awe of how they continue to find joy in life. my brother as well. the whole family is adjusting to this new normal. every day isn’t easy but it i am so happy i have the many memories of her. and i see and hear her in the kids. it makes me happy to see that she lives on no matter what.
so to make this day more than a cry fest, i decided to get a tattoo to honor my sister and her fight. even though she didn’t defeat cancer in the end, she fought hard and gave it everything she had. sometimes no matter what, you don’t win. but your fight should be honored and celebrated. i’m celebrating my sissy in a way that makes me smile. when i told her i got my first tattoo, she told me i needed a whooping. just remembering that made me crack up. i told my oldest niece i got the tattoo and she immediately said, auntie you need a whooping. i couldn’t help but laugh. my sissy was still telling me she was not about that tattoo life! so, i couldn’t have been happier to get this tribute to the best sister in the world. i miss her so much but i have this wonderful tribute to be a source of joy forever.