Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Write on Wednesday--Choose Your Own Adventure

Write On Wednesdays
Gill at INKPAPERPEN is letting us choose from a previous prompt...I was stuck between "88-Two Fat Ladies" and "I remember" since I hadn't found the WOW group at that time. I chose a version of the ladies. Because I use a Kindle to store my library now, I don't really have an 8th book on the shelf. I chose the eighth "clipping" from the various books I have been reading for the last year. It was a little unsettling to see the prose that fate chose for me to write about. It took me from Sunday until today to eek this out, and even now, I am not sure I should publish this. I will tell you here that it is graphic with some details of my sister's passing. Proceed with caution.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 17: This week, we are going with Karen's idea for an open choice week. So take a look at the old writing exercises (you can find them listed in Gill's sidebar: WoW Writing Exercises), find one you'd like to try (or retry!) and link it up to the linky on her page. Short and simple instructions this week. If time is an issue perhaps you would like to try one of the 5 minute stream of consciousness exercises.

"Sudden deaths rob us of the chance to offer comfort to our siblings in their final moments of life, to tell our siblings all of those things that lie deep within our souls, leaving us with words forever left unsaid." TJ Wray in Surviving the Death of a Sibling: Living Through Grief When an Adult Brother or Sister Dies

Me and Gayla, 2010
One of the heaviest weights my family and I have felt about sister's death is that not one of us was with her. Horrible sights unseen but imagined have plagued my mind's eye as it actively tortures me with flashes of what it thinks happened.

March 19, 2011 was a beautiful, sunny Saturday. I can imagine sister was dressed in comfy clothes and sandals since she was going for a pedicure. Having the same car as my older sister, I can see her behind the wheel and all the controls around her. Patiently, she waited in that bottle-necked traffic, waiting her turn to merge onto the highway. I worry about how she felt. Was she excited about our nephew to be born any minute? Was she lonely that everyone was busy or out of town and she would spend the day on her own? Was she just happy to not be traveling for work and to have a day of relaxation?

Then my questions become anxious. What did sister see in her rear view mirror that caused her car to veer to the right and not hit the cars in front of her? Had she seen the two little kiddos in the car in front of her and thought to brace for the impact and save them from harm? Did she feel it when her neck broke from the impact of the tractor trailer behind her?

Gayla and Me, 2011
About a month or two after sister's death, a letter arrived from a witness, the mother of those two children, who used her training as a nurse to attempt to save ourGayla. She wrote of how she and one other tried to breathe for sister until the realization that they could only pray over her hit them. This stranger's words were of some comfort to me because it let me know our girl did not die alone or uncared for. However, I still grieve for not being there to hold her hand.

I suppose I owe my parents a great deal of gratitude for raising the three of us to love each other openly and to always share our feelings with each other. Some of the only comfort I have now is knowing that myGayla knew I loved her with tremendous, over-flowing affection. She knew she was my best friend. Sister knew that she was my hero and that I knew how lucky I was to have her. Gayla knew she was loved abundantly. Unfortunately, I hurt to also know that she knew I was not going to be strong enough to bare this loss without great struggle. I fear she sees how weak I am and the ugly, sad feelings I hold in my heart for this horrible tragedy. I worry that I disappoint her. I worry that I disappointed her in life. I hate that I will never get to grow old with her as we had planned.

I do feel like we were robbed, that something very precious has been stolen from us all and from this world. Even with the knowledge that Sister knew my heart and soul with regards to her, there are still so many things I want to tell her. I used to text her cell phone when the need to tell her something was overwhelming. Then her number was recycled so that ended. I occasionally post to her FaceBook but feel silly once it is there so that will probably stop too. How do I let her know she was one of the greatest people I have ever known? How do I make sure her heart and capacity to love is never forgotten?


  1. Amazing. What comes through is that your sister was an amazing person, and that you loved her very much. It is so difficult to write out of loss. You did a wonderful job. Thank you so much for sharing her with us.


  2. She has been on my mind today. Found an old school paper that described the man all three of us love as tall, skinny, and handsome! That guy and I hung some of her Kayne stuff in his shop today. In that same paper she said she had gotten you awake when she saw you open your big blue eyes. She loved you bunches you know. As for me I did not find the toy of your papa's that Bubba wanted, but I did take her raggedy Ann and Cabbage Patch Doll to put out some time after the reunion.

  3. Wow. So powerful. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I'm certain your sister would definitely not be disappointed with you. I'm sure she would be honored by your love, and hope that you will be able to find some happiness.

  4. Oh wow, Jaimee. This is heartbreaking. Really heartbreaking. Writing this all down feels so important. For you and your sister. From the way you describe your relationship and the way your parents have taught you, I think your sister no doubt knew exactly how you felt. The people who love us know us so well that I don't believe that words are necessary, they know how we feel because they know us. Like Kimberlee said, I think she would be honoured by your love. Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us all.

    Gill x

  5. Jaimee, I can only imagine how hard is is to write this. I'm glad you did publish it.

    The bond you had with your sister is very precious and sharing how you feel is an important part of that.

    Never feel silly or that you are wrong to want to do it, no one else will ever think that.

  6. Jaimee I'm so glad you posted this. I've got tears right now.
    I recently lost my grandmother, who I was very close to, and I just don't see how I will ever "get over" it. There are so many questions, so many "what if"s, but I'm slowly learning the best approach is not to question the past, just remember it for what it was. Maybe easier said than done though?
    Your sister was beautiful.