I should Have Been A Sister

It’s that time of the year when I begin to reflect on the end. No, I’m not reflecting on the end of his life but of our mother’s. I lost her 5 years ago come the 23rd of this month. It’s a loss my big brother wasn’t there to share with me. In reality, because she blocked it out, my mother didn’t really share with me in processing my brother’s death either. I gotta say, it’s a lonely kind of feeling.

There was no one to share childhood memories with.

Maybe three weeks is a bit early to begin reflecting but I don’t think so. It is what it is. In the past 5 years I haven’t just reflected about Mom’s end but the entire journey. The journey my big brother wasn’t there to share. He couldn’t share the burden. He couldn’t share the joys … the little sparkles of light that shined out in the darkness. The light that gave me strength to face each new day. A thought just occurred to me so I’m going to share it. I wonder if he was there if it would have saved him somehow. I wonder if seeing her strength would’ve given him the courage to go to rehab. Hmmm, suddenly this is one of those days where I’m not at peace with his senseless life and death, where I’m wishing it all could’ve been different.

There was no one there to share decisions with.

Many years ago I found myself crying during a popular medical drama. I don’t think it was the intended emotion of the writers. I was watching an argument between a doctor and his sister at a hot dog-cart. They were arguing over the care of their elderly mother. I remember it vividly because it wasn’t that long after my brother’s death. Our mother was well at the time but I stared at the television and realized I’d never have that argument with Paul. I’d never be able to get on his case if he wasn’t helping out enough. I’d never get to disagree over treatment. I’d never have anyone to process the care of my mother with who had the same vested interest as I did. Yes, it made me cry. It wasn’t that I wanted to have disagreements but somehow I still felt sad.

In the end I was a daughter left alone to deal with it all.

But I should have been a sister.

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