We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Rabbit Hole

Papa came home from mass Sunday and said it was Palm Sunday. Mom argued with him, as did I, because if Sunday was Palm Sunday that would mean that next Sunday is Easter. No, Easter isn't for another two weeks. Well wouldn't you know, I checked my calendar and Papa was correct.

Easter. Fuck.

I hate Easter. I think it might be the most difficult holiday for me. Well that and Halloween. And Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And Fourth of July. Okay, they're all hard but when I think of Easter my mind immediately goes to Trina's last Easter, 2009. She and I had so much fun hiding the eggs for the kids and thinking of how fun the next Easter would be with her new baby. We'd have THREE kids to hide eggs for! How fun! Little did we know that she would be dead in nine months. There would be no third baby. There would be no more fun, joyous egg hiding. That was our last Easter together.

I hate Easter.

Speaking of rabbits, Beya and I watched "Rabbit Hole" a few weekends ago. It was very sad how excited I was to see that Comcast had it on InDemand even before it came out on DVD. The movie was extremely realistic and very true to life. Nicole Kidman did a phenomenal job of portraying a grieving mother trying to keep herself busy when the axis and compass of her life is gone. There were several scenes that I have lived out myself but I'm not going to say which ones. It took a while for the enter movie to sink in but once it did I sobbed. I cried over the loss of countless adventures that sissy and I will never have, the inside jokes we will never make, the parenting conversations that are gone forever and for losing my best friend, my "person".

I've been mulling over the idea of getting a family ring for some time. I have a necklace with the kids' initials and birthstone, a necklace with Trina and the kids' names, birthstones and birthdates engraved and a family charm bracelet with each of our birthstones. I want a ring with the birthstone of each of the kids and sissy's. I was casually and innocently looking at some online when I saw the following:

It was like a punch in the gut.

At first it made me angry. Angry that some sisters are able to exchange this with each other but I can't. Angry that some sisters take each other for granted and don't even talk to each other. Angry that my sister is gone forever.

Then I became sad. Sad that some sisters are able to exchange this ring with each other but I can't. Sad that some sisters take each other for granted and don't even talk to each other. Sad that my sister is gone forever. That is grief in a minuscule nutshell, having multiple, conflicting feelings all at the same time. It's like bipolar on steroids.

Yesterday mom and I were watching a segment on the Today show about mid life crisis and when they hit. Mom said she thought 30 was a tough age. I disagreed with her and explain how all my life I couldn't wait to be 30. I looked forward to my 30's. In my mind once I hit 30 I would have a child, I would know that I wasn't the most important person in my life, I would be having fun being a mom, I would have a better sense of who I was a person. Mom remarked that I had a great 30th birthday. Better than that, I had a perfect 30th birthday blowout. We all went to Vegas for three days and my best friend along several other family members showed up to surprise me. It was three days of partying and celebrating. I got a tattoo at 2 am on my actual birth date with Trina by my side. It was perfect. I told mom that I had three and a half years of my 30's being exactly what I thought they would be.

It was at this time that mom looked at me like I was crazy. She reminded me that no, it wasn't like that. After I turned 30,

* I started paperchasing for an international adoption

* I was diagnosed bipolar

* We had to deal with Trina's bipolar episodes

* I had several bouts with severe depression

* I've had chronic, severely limiting pain since I was 26

* I had to wait for nine long months knowing my baby was living in substandard conditions 3000 miles away

* I went through multiple mental medication concoctions with varying degrees of side effects, some of which not only didn't work but made things worse until I found the right cocktail that worked for me

* Ditto the above for sissy

* Not bonding with Valentina for months after she came home and feeling a tremendous amount of guilt over it

So no, I guess my first few years of my 30's weren't as perfect as I thought they were. But in between and even in the midst of the above struggles,

* I had spa days with sissy

* I got to spend time alone time with Asa being the perfect aunt

* I went to multiple concerts with sissy having fun and once in a lifetime moments

* I had countless "girl days" with Beya and Trina

*I had so many side splitting laughter fits with Beya and sissy

* I had dozens of fun filled holidays

* I had several long and short family vacations

* I had pure, unadulterated, sheer joy

On May 3, 2009 when I was 33 cancer invaded our lives.... again. Even after that we CHOSE to have fun. We CHOSE to find the happiness and good and fortunate things in our lives. That's not to say I didn't also had breakdowns, crying fits, denial, acceptance, fear and terrifying moments because I did. I asked why. I still ask why. I will never get an acceptable response to that question.

On January 9, 2010 when I was 34 my sister was taken from me.

I feel like my 30's are over. There will come a time when I hit 40 and become older than my sister ever was.

For the five years I have left in my 30's,

* I will be grateful to have my parents

* I will hold tight to Asa and Valentina

* I will work on my marriage

* I will continue to go through the motions of having an outwardly "normal" life

* I will not take electricity for granted

And for the rest of my life,

* I will miss and mourn my sister


Jen said...

Beautiful blog. Beautifully sad post. Isn't it funny how our brains sometimes remember?

Before the accident, I thought things had been going really smoothly. My asshole brother graciously reminded me of an auto immune disease I had forgotten about, infertility, adoption, bonding, etc.

He's not an asshole for reminding me of those things, he is an asshole for 5000 other reasons, btw!

Life is....right. I suppose we will take whatever good we can, like you said.

I am so sorry about the ring. Sucker punch....YUCK!!!

Easter kind of sucks for me too. It was the last real holiday Aviana had a healthy brain. I should say it really sucks, but I am trying hard not to let it...

Beya said...

I love you and you are the strongest woman I know. You are my rock. Always. I am blessed to be your mother. Love, mama

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Grama said...

You write so well that it is heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time.
You are strong and I look forward to hearing about Beya Momma and Valentina days together making memmories.