Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Decade Ago

May 27, 2002 -- A Decade Ago

I was in bed writing or reading, and my mom came in to say goodnight.  I don't remember the details of our conversation, but I couldn't sleep.  Mom told me that my sister was still up and out in the family room and maybe I should go talk to her.

I didn't want to.
But, for some reason I did.

May 27, 2002, I got up out of bed and went out to the family room and talked to my sister.  I don't remember everything we talked about, but I do remember that we talked more than we watched television.  One thing that was said was that Tracey asked me if it was okay if she didn't attend my graduation ceremony... she was in so much pain and worried about getting to the auditorium, sitting for so long, and getting home.  I told her I totally understood, and she would see me before the ceremony and I didn't want her sitting in pain through 300 names being read just to hear my one name.  I told her I would love for her to be there, but I completely understood and it wasn't a big deal for her to stay home.

May 27, 2002 was the Monday of Memorial Day... I remember because the Tuesday after Memorial Day was the day I was going to graduate from high school -- May 28, 2002.  I bet the majority of my class could not tell you the date we graduated.

I remember the specific date I got out of bed and talked to my sister, the night before my graduation, for one reason.

At one point in the conversation, she reminded me that four years earlier, to the day, my brother-in-law, her husband died -- May 27, 1998.  No one had remembered to say anything to Tracey that day that they remembered that this was the day that Dan died.

It was a busy day... I have no doubt we had had a Memorial Day Cookout, we had spent the weekend working around the house, and preparing for my graduation.  We simply hadn't noticed the date.  But sure enough, May 27 -- the day Dan died.

As Tracey reminded me of that date, so much was unspoken in her eyes... "Will you forget the day I died a mere four years after I'm gone?"
You see, Dan died after a 14 month battle with cancer.
On May 27, 2002, my sister was rounding her 14th month battling her own case of cancer, and she was not doing well.

This picture was taken a few weeks before our May 27 conversation
before my Sr. prom
In fact, what I didn't know ten years ago was that Tracey would spend the night at our parents on May 27, and then spend every night thereafter at our parents... she never went back to her house to stay...  What none of us knew on May 27 is that Tracey would die less than two weeks later on June 8.

I can believe that its been ten years since I've graduated high school.  A decade -- wow!  But it's been a great decade.  I can believe its been a decade because its been full of wonderful times post-high school.
What I cannot believe is that its been a decade since I had that May 27 conversation with my sister.  I cannot believe its been nearly a decade since I've talked to her at all, seen her, hugged her, laughed with her, been mad at her.  Ten years that she has been absent from my life.  Ten years that she has not been there for big events, she has not met people who are important to me.
Even worse... its been a decade.  I could potentially have 6 or 7 more decades without my sister before I see her again.  Six or 7 more decades of living on memories I made in the first 18 years of my life.

A Decade Ago was the night before I graduated from high school.  I couldn't sleep, so I got out of bed and talked to me sister.  I am so glad I got out of bed and talked to my sister.

Fourteen years since Dan died.
Ten years since I graduated from high school.
Ten years since that conversation with Tracey.

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1 comment:

  1. It is strange how time goes by so quickly and yet so slowly.

    I am glad you had that conversation with your sister.

    This missing is hard. But the memories make things a little easier. I prayed for you as I read this. <3


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