Loss and Life
I drove over to Jersey today to visit my mom. I fixed her computer again...the second time I've had to replace the wireless card...and watched the Eagles' football game with her. The "Birds" won, routing the Redskins 27 to 3. I have to wonder if Washington would do better if they changed their name. It's either bad karma for continuing to usurp and make caricatures of Native American icons and ideas or RFK Stadium was built on some sacred burial ground. Some Great Spirit somewhere seems to be perpetually pissed at the Redskins.
It was a good day to spend with Mom. It was rainy and gloomy so even what little I've ever felt as the bosom of mother's love was some comfort. To her credit, she tries. She just has no idea the damage done in my formative years and beyond and is clueless as to how to bridge the gap. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to or if I just feel obligated to reach out out of guilt. Ahhh, therapy.
It was raining cats and dogs on the ride home, making for a white-knuckle drive up I-95, thankfully only a few miles from the bridge. I'm safely ensconced in my living room, Smithwick's at hand. Sadie is snoozing now after sulking mightily because I would not share my meat-on-a-stick with her. When she can pay her way, she can have all the Chinese she wants.
My mom happened to mention that tomorrow is the anniversary of my sister's death. I heard her but was in the process of trying to fix the computer so I didn't immediately reply and, when I thought of it again, I chose not to go there. I don't know if I avoided it for me, for her or out of spite. For so many years I wanted to talk about the impact Lisa's death had on us and for years the subject was taboo.
I decided to gas up in Jersey because gas is always about $.20 a gallon cheaper there than in PA. Since it was pouring, I decided not to make the trip into the little "downtown" I grew up in but headed north to Glassboro, which would shorten my route home after my fill-up. It wasn't until I made the turn onto Route 322 that I realized my route would take me directly past the spot where my sister was hit by that car. It was a weird feeling to drive by there, 22 years minus 5 hours from the time a 20 year-old swerved 6-10 feet to the right and struck my sister from behind then sped off, leaving the scene, leaving my sister lying there with her blood clotting in her throat.
I don't think I still know fully how I feel about all this. I'm obviously still angry...angry at Kamela, angry at the fact that she knew she'd struck my sister and chose to drive home, angry that there was no death by auto charge or reckless driving charge, angry that there was never an apology, barely an acknowledgment. Sometimes I ponder how different my life would have been if Lisa had never been hit. I think I would trust much more. I think I would let people in more and have more friends. I should have more friends.
I should have been an aunt.
I should still have my sister.
But life is funny that way and we take what's given to us most of the time because, most of the time, we have no choice. What would I give up to have my 41 year-old sister, married, with kids, hopefully happy, living a few towns away or in the next state? I don't know. I feel selfish to even consider that because there's not much that I'd care to let go. Then again, if Lisa were still here, I have the feeling there would be a whole lot more in my life today.
So, I think I'll hoist another beer and drown my sorrows in my father's poison of choice. Here's to life, whatever it give us and whatever we make of it.
Here's to my sister, who had so short a shot at this world.
Here's to my dad, who I will miss terribly this holiday season.
And here's to my grandson, who has his mother's and father's (and my father's, my sister's) brown eyes.
tags: death / grief / life