On Friday, August 7th my twin sister and I were both in different places, camping and exploring the mountains. When reaching cell service in our separate place, we received a text from our older sister, Amanda (36), that we needed to call her together. We both knew what this meant, she has been battling cancer for the past 2.5 years. I was able to largely distract myself until we managed to meet in the middle at the Mineral Belt Trailhead in Leadville, CO. We called, and Amanda told us in a raspy voice due to the cancer affecting her vocal cords, that it was “time for her to be with Aunt Barb and Uncle Ronny” (relatives that both passed away from cancer, who have always held very deep places in our hearts.). All 3 of us were weeping, so we hung up, and Sandi and I slid down from the bumper of the car to the ground, where we sat, crumbled, and wept at the feet of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert.
These pieces were written in the aftermath of the news and (currently) while taking care of Amanda. At this moment, I sit next to her as she uses her nebulizer to help her breathing. Otherwise, she is doing “well” right now…still able to eat (requesting blizzards from DQ), still able to smile. If you’re reading this, I ask that you send energy, prayers, etc to the Universe, Mother Earth, God or Whatever/Whomever, first if a miracle is possible, and if not, that she has a smooth transition from this life and into the arms and paws of family and friends who have already made the journey to Somewhere Else.
If A Girl Cries Alone
You know the quote “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well I wonder if a girl cries alone in the trees, does she make a sound? Is anyone listening?
I’d like to think so. The earth soaking up her tears. The trees offering their strength. Chipmunks offering their comfort. The flowers offering their beauty. Mother Earth softy saying “You are not alone.”
The smoke from the wildfires are a perfect metaphor for how I’m feeling. I’m in a haze. I’m not sure if I don’t know what’s real…or if I’m just lost. Meanwhile, the trees keep burning. And while the trees turn to ashes, no hole will be left deeper than the one left in me.
It’s like I wear a giant “S” on my chest
No, not like Hester.
My “S” stands for SAD.
I imagine everyone staring at me, saying
“That’s the SAD girl over there
Don’t get too close
She’ll infect you with her sadness”
But I don’t want to pass it on
I just want a shoulder to lean on
A hand to help me up
Just a bit of light
To enter into my open wound.
The Holy Fucks
I’m not a big user of curse words, although I’m not against them. Mainly, I use “fuck” for emphasis when I’m really upset about something. It wasn’t until I found out that my 36 years young sister was dying that I started putting “holy” before the word. During the times I couldn’t stand because the pain was too great*, when she asked my mom “did hospice say when I was going to die?”, and especially when she gave my cousin’s little girls Winnie the Pooh blankets and said she’ll always watch over them. This is when the “fucks” became “holy”.
*A professor of my defined sacred as “that which brings us to our knees.” I’ve been to some beautiful places, waterfalls, mountaintops, deep inside canyons, and never have I ever been brought to my knees so much as during this time. Which, perhaps mean the most sacred thing in the world is our love for others.
These are the holy fucks.
“Holy fuck, why is this allowed to happen?”
“Holy fuck, if there’s a God or something greater out there, you better be with us right now.”
“Holy fuck, how can one person hold this much love and this much pain?”
“Holy fuck, this is too much.”
“Holy fuck, how am I going go on after she leaves?”
My Daily Gratitudes
- The she is still alive
- That she’s not suffering too much
- That she has been my big sister for 32 years