We’d be sitting around her bedside, wiping calm tears of sadness from our eyes, telling her we loved her, as she slipped peacefully from this world to the next.
I’d keep it together, I thought.
I’d be strong, I thought.
I wouldn’t throw myself on her body. I wouldn’t beg her for ten more minutes.
I wasn’t expecting to hear my little sister cry so hard she couldn’t breathe. I didn’t expect to see my older sister, the strong sister, shed tears of such sorrow I had to look away.
None of this was what we expected.
In my mind it was going to go very differently.
We’d have just one more glance of her with her eyes open, not closed. One last moment of consciousness, where she’d hear us whisper we love her.
We’d have our last few seconds with her, thanking her, and sharing happy stories about when she took care of us kids.
We’d have a peaceful goodbye.
Too fast. It was all too fast. It happened like a scene from a heartbreaking movie, not from an uplifting hallmark commercial.
It didn’t leave us calmly wiping tears from our eyes. For me, it left me begging, pleading, weeping.
Just one more moment. Just one more moment.
But it is what it is.
One day we’ll meet her again. I’ll be able to tell her what I’d planned to tell her. I’ll be able to play her the song I learned on the guitar for her and dad.
My sisters will cry happy tears.
Our father will laugh again, eat more than three bites of food and sleep more than two hours a night. He’ll not wake up with red, swollen eyes. He’ll put his arms around his wife again and kiss her like he’s done a million times.
Things don’t work out, now do they? Things aren’t always easy when we expect them to be. Hearts are broken and people leave.
She left. She’s gone. It happened.
But it’s not forever. It’s a temporary goodbye. That’s all it is. A temporary goodbye.
The pain is temporary, too. But she isn’t. She’s forever, and so is her love.
Hours will turn into days, and days into years. Painful mornings full of tears and heartache will turn into only sad, laugh-less moments, which will eventually turn to hope and maybe even comfort.
Because I see her in my kids. In my garden. In the music I listen to. In my brother’s dumb jokes she always laughed at. In the empty side of our parents bed. In her clothes dresser that our dad refuses to get rid of.
I see her in Shelly’s amazing mother skills and fiery spirit. I see her in Mirranda’s kindness and awesome talent to write songs, just as my mother wrote poetry.
We’re going to weep. We’re going to fall to our knees and wonder why. And then, just as she’d want us to, we’ll get up and prepare to meet her again one day, when this world is over.
And she’ll dance again. She’ll sing again. She’ll paint again. She’ll sew again. She’ll laugh that amazing laugh again.
She’ll pull us close again.
And she’ll be again.
She’ll be again.