Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Talking to Tracey (Lee)

My sister, Tracey (Lee), (not to be confused with my daughter, Tracey Ann, died in June of 2002 -- so 13+ years ago.

These days I do not actively grieve the loss of her or actively mourn her absence in my life... I did for a very long time, but time does provide the ability to carry on with life -- never to forget, never to stop missing... but to carry on without the one you love as best as possible.

That being said, there are now very distinct seasons in my life where I keenly miss her, and they always surprise me.

The last time I really keenly missed my sister was in the weeks leading up to my wedding.  I really needed her help -- not just with details of my wedding but helping me manage my family in all the excitement -- something only a sister would understand and be able to do in that sort of situation.

I missed Tracey when I was pregnant with Tracey Ann... but it was more general -- I missed that my child was not going to know his or her Aunt Tracey.  My sister, Tracey, never had children so I never found myself wanting to hear her wisdom or share her experience.

With this pregnancy with twins, however, I find myself seriously missing her and really wanting to talk to her.

I am physically able to do less and less every day -- and it is driving me crazy.  My mother-in-law is here right now taking care of things while Hubby is hunting, and my parents will arrive next week to help us from now for the duration of my pregnancy and weeks after the twins arrive.  They could be here three months or longer.

The last time my parents left home to live with a child indefinitely because they were needed was when my sister was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2000.  They went to Minneapolis (where my sister lived) in January and they essentially did not come home until May.

Tracey loved animals and had an absolute zoo at the time to the tune of one dog, two cats, and 8 or 9 exotic birds.  As Tracey's focus changed to fighting for her life and resting between doctors appointments, hospital stays, and bouts with chemotherapy and radiation... my parents lived at her home doing anything and everything that needed to be done.  

My dad did medical research, spent hours consulting with countless doctors, and offered medical advice while my mom took care of all of Tracey's animals and handled all of the day-to-day household chores.

I had never really thought about it before, but it must have driven Tracey crazy to have been in that situation.

Here she was 37 years old, and yes, I'm sure she was completely grateful for everything my parents were doing... but in addition to feeling physically lousy, and having no energy, she was living with her dad and his wife while watching them do all the household chores she usually did... and, if I know Tracey, she did a certain way.

I am overjoyed that my parents are coming to help, and I KNOW I cannot get through these upcoming weeks of pregnancy without them... but I'm also a little apprehensive about living with my parents again for three or more months.  That is a long time.

I really want to talk to Tracey about this.  It is one thing to spend three months with my parents when I am myself and can run my own house, and go out to the grocery store, and take Tracey Ann out for walks... but it is another story to know that there is less and less I can do every day and my mom and dad will be taking over my household duties while I sit around and watch them.

I really want to hear what my sister has to say about this.  I want to laugh with her about the paradox of being so incredibly grateful... but also really nervous because my parents are about to take over my house.

I want to rejoice with her about the different circumstances that this time they are coming to help for the upcoming birth of twin grandchildren instead of helping a child who is fighting cancer.

I want her advice on how to cherish this time with my mom and dad because it will not last forever and we rarely all live under one roof.

I want her to empathize with me when I complain about how little I am allowed to do when there is so much I want to be doing because she understands how frustrating this is.

I miss her... and really, I don't care what we talk about... it has been too long, and I just want to talk.

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