So many emotions and with each day I‘m surprised at who comes out of my reflection. Honestly, I just don’t know; is it gonna be Jekyll or Hyde (or both)? Or maybe their twin sisters? I’ve made a promise to keep myself far from anyone that might take offense at my outbursts for I just don’t know. And the people, they mean well; but they say and do some of the oddest of things. There are these friends of my sisters that, though I realize they’ve lost their dear friend, I’m a gassed and their self-contentedness. They say things like, “what we should do with the ceremony is…” Or, “we should really keep the testimonies down to a minimum as others might want to say something…”
Really! My sister, Elizabeth and I actually had a chuckle as she said, “don’t they realize who they are talking to? I mean, they are dealing with Amelia Mattison MacGregor’s daughters; that should be license enough, don’t you think?” And we are; we are our mother’s daughters, we will not only plan an event, but we will have everything cooked, cut, plated and ready to serve in plenty of time. As an example; for Kimball’s wedding our mother made (hand-made) Swedish meatballs. Enough to feed a few hundred people (it was a lot of meatballs!); and they weren’t those huge, three/four bite sized meatballs you might find in an Italian restaurant either… these were tiny, bites size (Amelia MacGregor mouth size) meatballs; and all hand rolled to boot!
Yep, we are our mother’s daughters. [sigh] Like I said, I know that they mean well and want to help. Everyone wants to help, I don’t want to take away from that; and I guess that is where Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and their twin sisters come in; I just don’t know when/where they’re going to pop up. I find that I get so upset over the most menial circumstances or words (it’s absurd!)
So, what do you do? I can’t go on keeping myself from everyone. I’m not my sister, I don’t have an ‘edit’ button’; not anymore. There was a time when I was the master of diplomacy. I remember when bosses depended on me for that trait. What happened? Well, a great deal happened. My mom, my marriage; alcoholism (marriage/brother), my sister’s cancer. It was just too much stuff and I never (NEVER) took the time to take time off or was able to take a time out. And so, here I am; I’m forced to take this time to “deal” with the stuff that is coming up (whether I like it or not).There were a great many months spent dealing with Kimball’s health and I guess much of this started when I was called back the morning of her surgery and the surgeon wasn’t sure he could move forward for fear of the “infection”. One look and I thought, “infection!” Looking straight at her Infectious Disease doctor. While in the hall I asked him, “what, pray tell would make you think, after looking at that, that that was an ‘infection’?” To which he muttered how imperfect medicine was. I was panicked, furious, frightened; while at the same time I knew in that moment, my sister’s fate had turned. I also knew I couldn’t say anything, not to her friends who were waiting for me in the lobby, and not to my family. I could eventually try to convey the seriousness of the situation to my family; but, I knew that unless they saw with their own eyes, only then would they be able to gabble at the seriousness of our sisters situation.
No, I knew long before the doctors were willing to ever state anything to Kimball, the imminence of her fate. This grew even clearer when the fluid collected on her lungs and I was being trained to drain them. And even then, I succumb to the wistfulness of my sister and that all was going to be fine and she was going get well.
So much for a person to shoulder; yet I did. And for this I am proud; however, one regret remains and perhaps that is what stands in the way of my deliverance from remorse into solace. That being in her final days I depended on the doctor giving her a clear picture of the situation. I expected it to be like that of a movie (Terms Of Endearment), where the doctor comes in and says “dear you have a malignancy…”
But, such as life, this was not a movie and that never happened. At least, not until the day before her death when it came from a nurse on staff. This brave soul, this wonderful woman sat with my sister and told her the truth (something I should have done weeks before, but lacked the courage to do). I just couldn’t bring myself to break her spirit, to let her down. I couldn’t do that and now, wish I had. She deserved to know the truth from me, not to guess what was happening and to live in fear of the questions circling her mind. She deserved to know and to have those moments to write the notes she wanted to write, or to make the calls she wanted to make. And I robbed her of that. I’m not sure I can forgive myself of that.
So, where does this leave me? I don’t know. I will learn to forgive myself and I will learn from this. But to you, my readers? I hope this is teaching you to NOT take the easy way. When something needs to be said, don’t wait for someone else to say it (be it a doctor, or friend, brother or sister); SAY it! Life is short; oh so much shorter than you know. And those moments you think will be just around the corner; those moments could be gone in a flash.
‘I Love You’ are three little words; yet, they are the toughest three words to say. Most will go a life time without ever saying them or hearing them. Do me a favor, say them to those you love. Say them today; NOW. Don’t wait. They are just 3 little words. And (here’s the trick), the more you say them, the easier they come out. Give ’em a try; you will never be disappointed, I promise.