I am not sure on how to put this into words exactly. It isn’t something that I have written about before, not something that I have thought about writing before.
I am writing this for myself. I write all my entries for myself. I post them so that others can read them as well, but really, it is for me.
My sister, Barbara D’Arcy passed away. She was my older sister, by 18 years nearly. She was 61. 61 isn’t considered old anymore, not by any means.
I lost my mother when I was 16. That was tough. I would imagine that it is tough at any age but when you are a teenager, I think it is a little harder. I had the support of my family and friends and teachers at school. She had been sick for a while, cancer. The ugly “C” word. I don’t remember when she was diagnosed, probably about when I was 13 or so. She had chemo therapy, it made her sick of course. I remember one time when the nurse put the needle in incorrectly and her hand swelled up and didn’t go down for weeks. Shortly before she passed away, she had a seizure. I was home, so was my dad. I called the paramedics and they took her to the hospital. I was scared at the time, I didn’t know what was going on. She was in the hospital for a bit, don’t remember how long and came home. She had another seizure and went back in. More tests and tumors were discovered in her brain. She had radiation treatments, there wasn’t enough time for that to help. On February 20, 1988, she passed away. That was one of the hardest days of my life. Why was she taken away at the age of 59? I didn’t understand it then and even now, I still don’t. It has been 27 years and that is now long enough that I don’t remember what the sound of her voice was like. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures of her. Video cameras were bulky back then and besides that, they used tapes. Who has a VCR now to watch those, even if they were ever taken?
Nearly 10 years ago, September 18, 2005, my Dad died after a short illness. He had just turned 80 years old. He stayed in his own house until the end. He didn’t want to move into a retirement home. I lived with him until I was and was pretty well done with school, 24 year old. The years between when my Mom passed and I moved out were tough. I don’t imagine for a minute that it was easy for him either. I was a teenager who didn’t like to follow the rules. He likely didn’t really want me in his house. We got along a LOT better after I moved out.
So, now one of my 3 siblings has also passed away. She had a short illness that was very serious and it was touch and go in the hospital. She was living in Toronto and I am in Calgary so unfortunately, I have not seen my sister recently. Her condition in the hospital did improve so there wasn’t an immediate need for me to fly back to Ontario.
She was released from the hospital, likely too soon. Funding for our medical system is never enough. She did go back in at least once, maybe twice but, we thought, she was on the mend.
My sister would often not keep in touch with family members. Shortly after I got to Alberta, I wasn’t able to get a hold of her for a few days. Typically, if you message someone or you call them and you leave a voice mail, they will get back to you either that day or the next. There have been a few period in the last few years that she wouldn’t contact us for a week or more. Being family, we would worry. She lived alone so there is no one there that would know she is all right. The time recently that I wasn’t able to get a hold of her, I called the Toronto Police Service and had them do a welfare check on her. They were excellent, I received a call back that same evening that she was fine. She said she had a migraine for a few days and didn’t respond to anyone. Years earlier, I sent my Aunt to her place to check on her – same thing, she had a migraine.
It was tough for us at times. Not knowing what was going on with someone. I live alone myself but my family knows that I am fine. I posted regularly to Facebook or Twitter or I call a few times per week. Now, I work from home as well, so co-workers see me online and I interact with people. I would hate to think that if I didn’t wake up one morning that my dogs would not have anyone to look after them. I don’t think that I would be out of contact for more than a few days before my co-worker came to check on me.
Shortly after Easter, my sister stopped responding to calls and emails. At times, her phone would take a message and then it wouldn’t. I don’t know if this was because it was full and then after a few days the messages would automatically delete but that is what I suspect.
This time, the welfare check ended in a way that no one would want it to.
I haven’t spoken with my sister for a little over a year. I haven’t seen her in almost two, mind you, I haven’t seen any of my family in that time. I had a disagreement with her that caused us to not speak. I didn’t try to mend that fence, neither did she. I will have to live with that.
I hope that she has found peace. I feel better writing this on my BLOG. Had to get it off of my chest.
Love you always, Mom, Dad and Barb and of course for those who are around to listen to me complain and those of you who might read about my complaints here.