Chinese New Year, 2014 the Year of the Horse. Ironic.
I’ve fallen off the horse and I’m having a hard time getting back on.
I have only had one blog post all year. The year began and I had nothing to say. How is this possible? 2013 had 175 posts and now, nothing.
Then,three weeks into the new year, my sister passed away.
Numb. Raw. Wrecked. I’m functional then emotions sneak up on me when least expected.
Though my sister has had medical issues nearly all of her life, it is unbelievable to believe she is gone.
My coping mechanism is to find humor in the bleakest moments. This is where I find my voice and share this story.
My sister and I were opposites in many ways. She was blond and blue eyed to my brown hair and brown eyes. Our personalities conflicted too, she was bossy but I like to be in charge. Both strong women, my sister stood 5’2″ on a good day while I hit 5’10” every day. She was a mighty mite who loved to be first, have the final word and last laugh in any discussion or disagreement.
My siblings, adult nephews and I sorted through and packed my sister’s apartment in Seattle where she lived for three years to be near our mom and receive the necessary medical attention after living most of her life in Michigan. I was in charge of packing her kitchen. Though there were many layers of difficult for all of us that week, one thing that saddened me was, while packing her kitchen, was to see her plans for her Christmas baking gone unbaked because she didn’t feel well enough during the holidays. Pounds and pounds of flour and sugar and chocolate chips and other baking stuff to bake a ridiculous amount of cookies. Like my mom. Like me.
I love other people’s kitchens. I love their gear and gadgets as well as trying to understand their logic in their kitchen layout and wondering if I would do the same or what would I do differently. My sister’s kitchen logic was clear. She, being short, operated from the ground up. Hardly anything was in her upper cabinets while everything was found in the bottom cupboards. I hate having to dig things out of the bottom cupboards so my kitchen is top heavy. I am certain my sister had a good laugh watching me crawl around her kitchen floor as I packed her things. True to self, she got the last laugh.
And, sadly, she was first of our siblings and our cousins, to pass.
After reading through this post, I realize this may not seem funny to you but it is funny to me. In these days filled with grief, even the slightest thing that makes me smile strikes me funny.
Getting back on the horse is going to require a lot of awkward moments. This is just the beginning and I’m sliding in the saddle. February is a new month, a new beginning. Be patient with me as I struggle.