Last night my sister Amy passed away. She never regained consciousness after she collapsed in the bathroom of their home on Wednesday evening.
Since she was 13 months younger than I am, I have never known life without her being in it. There is a void.
Hard to recap an entire life in a couple of sentences. But I hope you will allow me a few memories:
Because we were so close together in ages, Mom used to tell about she would get us dressed in the morning. She wouldn't see us again until almost lunch time, as we would go play either upstairs or outside, depending on the season. We did that until we were 5 and 4; or maybe 6 and 5. One day Amy came downstairs telling mom that she was tired of me always telling her what to do. No wonder we got along so well!
About in the same time period, we went Christmas shopping one day in our small town of Fertile. Part of the family was in the grocery store. Another part went to our local hardware store where there were several gift aisles. Amy came into the grocery store, crying. She was mad and sad. She and I had split up the good amount of change in our shared piggy bank. I had given her by far the most coins. I had given her all the pennies and kept all the silver coins for me. She didn't have enough money to buy anything. Mom saw to it that the coins were re-divided.
Those were some of the last days when I 'knew better' or thought I did!
Amy was a reader. She devoured books. She would tell that at any given time, she would be reading 5 - 6 books. One by her chair. One in the bathroom. One by her bedside. One in the car. One in the kitchen. Lots of them were fiction I think. But she knew 'stuff'. You didn't want to watch Jeopardy with her. Not that she knew all of the answers but she knew a bunch of them. She'd have the answer before I'd have the time to think what the answer might be.
She loved her home and her family. She was a decorator. Christmas? Oh, my! She had collections of things: Santa Clauses. Nutcrackers. Various kinds of ornaments. A number of Christmas trees. She could have won the prize within the five sisters for how good she was or interested in doing it (not that there was a contest!).
She and Keith hosted Christmas at their house in early December this past year, for as many family members as could make it. It wasn't a large crowd, but fun. I hadn't been there for awhile so I was snagging some changes which I really enjoyed seeing. Some was her decorating work. Some seasonal throughout her house. Since my sister Jill and I had stayed overnight, we had more time together in that outing. And I can remember telling Amy about four times different things that caught my eye and how good I thought she put things together (something I am a little devoid of!).
"I like doing that kind of thing," she said.
Not always do I tell people things that I appreciate about them. But I did that time.
I couldn't help but think in the last few days, "We never know when it is the last time we are going to see someone!"