May 31, 2009


Forgive me as I have been out of pocket for a little while.

I thought I'd tell you about my sister - that's right, I have a sister. Her name is Joyce. She is my only sibling - my younger sister. She has been at some times my best friend and at other times my worst enemy, but she is my sister.

When she was 27 she was diagnosed with Uterine cancer which had begun to spread to other areas of her reproductive system necessitating a complete hysterectomy. Following that, she suffered from various kidney ailments, a prolapsed bladder and other aches and pains. For the last 15 or so years, she has also suffered from being bi-polar.

Low self esteem caused her to date men who abused her, and the mental issues caused her to abuse alcohol and drugs, which in turn resulted in her stealing money to feed her habit. After two stints in jail, she had finally begun to turn her life around.

For the first time in his short life, she was always and without question putting her young son first. He is 7. She was going to school, pulling all A's and enjoying life. However, two weeks ago, she learned that her cancer was back and it had compromised both her kidneys and bladder. She decided that she would decline any treatment as she did not want to suffer in what appeared to be her last days.

One thing she loved to do more than anything else was ride. She - like many of us - loved to feel the wind through her hair and on her face from the back of a motorcycle. All someone had to do was roll up on a bike and she was eager to jump on even if it were just for a ride around the neighborhood.

She and I have been getting along well, until Tuesday when we were fighting about something stupid and I would not take her calls, and did not respond to her emails or text messages. Wednesday I was traveling and packing for a trip on Thursday. I never did talk to her.

On May 21, 2009, a Thursday afternoon she went for a bike ride with a friend. While traveling on a stretch of highway probably at 65 or 70, maybe more, an SUV pulling a boat pulled smack out in front of them. Billy, the driver of the bike had time to reach around and hold my sister and he took the entire impact. They hit the boat so hard that it was knocked right from the SUV. Billy had to be cremated.

My sister died instantly when her head hit the pavement. She had a broken hand, a small scratch on her face, some bruising on the right side of her face and head from the impact with the road, and road rash on her arms and torso - but she was otherwise intact because Billy had wrapped his body around hers. He was the instrument used to take her before her suffering began anew.

I wasn't home when this happened. I was in Texas with one of my dearest friends. I'm not sure my folks will ever forgive me for that, despite the fact that it was out of my hands. While my folks deal with their grief, they are at times angry with me for any number of things and angry at each other for the rest. They will never be the same.

My nephew, who lived with my folks, is now with his dad. It kills me.

I am not the only one to have lost a loved one under tragic circumstances, which I realize, but I only know my own grief. My days and routine have changed, the way I deal with my family has changed. I am sure that I have changed.

My sister was only 30. Her 31st birthday is in three weeks. If you'd known her, you would have loved her. Everyone did, whether you wanted to or not. Her funeral viewing hours were packed with grieving men - none of whom had a chance, all of whom she made to feel they did. If it wasn't so tragic, it would have been comical.

She was 30 - and we'll never be the same.


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Posted by Oddybobo at May 31, 2009 12:05 PM | TrackBack

God bless, honey.

I love you.

May she rest in peace.

Posted by: Christina at May 31, 2009 01:33 PM

A lovely tribute to your sister, Oddy. She knows that you love her. I'm still praying for you all.

The situation with your nephew is heartbreaking; I'm sure your folks are grieving for the loss of their grandchild in their lives every day as well as your sister.

Big {HUGS} for you all.

Posted by: Pam at May 31, 2009 01:33 PM

Here's all I have to say, Half-Asian chicks are HAWT.

Prayers for you and your family, ma'am.

Posted by: Two Dogs at May 31, 2009 01:41 PM

I am sick for all of you. Nobody will ever be the same...

Know you are in my thoughts. Also, remember, although she did not die a long death, Hospice will still take you or anyone else involved for Grief Counseling. They have that market cornered and you do not have had to have used them in the final stages for their services to be rendered. They are a tremendous group and I cannot say enough good about them.

God Bless you and yours.

Posted by: Bou at May 31, 2009 01:54 PM

Bless all of you...prayers with you and your family. And I'm glad she didn't have to die slowly and painfully from one who has watched my m-i-l go like that, it's awful. I know it doesn't make it any easier, but your sister died with the wind in her hair. My m-i-l would have envied her that.

God bless everyone, especially her son.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at May 31, 2009 02:47 PM

I'm holding you and your family up in my thoughts and prayers. Prayers for peace. Prayers for forgiveness. Prayers for the time when your sis sends you the message that she's arrived safely in the Father's arms. It'll come. All of it.

Posted by: Omnibus Driver at May 31, 2009 02:56 PM

.... I'm sorry for your loss..... it seems that you and I have similar siblings...

Posted by: Eric at May 31, 2009 03:04 PM

That is one of the saddest things I've ever read. My heart and sympathy are with you.

Posted by: LeeAnn at May 31, 2009 08:34 PM

My heart and my hugs are out to you and your family.

Posted by: vw bug at May 31, 2009 09:02 PM

Oh Oddy, I'm so very sorry. Hugs...

Posted by: Patti at May 31, 2009 09:44 PM

Sending thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Code Monkey at June 1, 2009 02:11 AM

I'm so sorry...

Posted by: Sam at June 1, 2009 06:26 AM

May you and your family find peace and comfort in this time of terrible tragedy. Especially to your nephew, who must miss his mom something terrible. Other than that, I'm at a loss for words.

Posted by: diamond dave at June 1, 2009 09:11 AM

Honey - as you know, I am so very sorry...

Hugs to you and may Peace be with you all.

Posted by: Richmond at June 1, 2009 09:32 AM

I'm so sorry. As usual, I'm no good at saying anything comforting. But I am glad she was doing something she enjoyed and was spared any suffering.

Posted by: caltechgirl at June 1, 2009 07:11 PM

Be assured that you and your family are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Tink at June 1, 2009 08:53 PM

We have been thinking of you here at our home, and your family, and your nephew...

May God grant you grace...all of you.

This makes my heart ache

Posted by: awtm at June 1, 2009 10:56 PM

Oh dear, you have had such a string of not good things happen lately. ((Big Hugs))

The way you described your sister and her health/drug issues almost mirrors my sister, so I have great empathy. And she and I have only just started to be friends now that she is 50, and I in my mid 40's.

My condolences. Take care. I'll be sending all good thoughts your way.

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at June 2, 2009 01:40 AM

Oh God, that was painful...I am so sick for you in my heart, and for that poor little boy who lost his mommy so young. Heartbreaking..... I am so unbelievably sorry.

Posted by: Erica at June 2, 2009 09:49 AM

Big Hugs, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at June 3, 2009 08:29 AM

My dear, I'm so very sorry. She was your sister and our world is a far poorer place now that she is gone.

Posted by: Teresa at June 3, 2009 12:57 PM

That was an amazingly clear and sincere portrait of your sister and your grief. What an honorable man that must have been to have cradled her in love in that moment.

We see too much of that loss - perhaps more sterile and businesslike - so thank you for making it so tangible and honest...

I hope you find room to heal your heart and to know the deep grace to forgive the pain in others...

Posted by: LauraB at June 3, 2009 02:47 PM

Prayers sent.

Posted by: JihadGene at June 4, 2009 03:49 PM