I have other gloves. I can buy more.
I have no other sisters. So I should say I lost my sister.
Winter came; she left. I had no clue how the term passing is so accurate to describe death. She was here; they called for her; she passed over. She didn’t want to go, but then she said, “It’s so beautiful,” and shortly after that, she went.
We knew it was coming, but because I had read enough of the book Final Gifts to have a bit of a clue, I thought I should inform others. Last Monday afternoon, I told my brother-in-law and the oldest son what the authors, two hospice nurses, describe as “Nearing Death Awareness”. I walked back to my house with our daughter, then got a text that something was going on; they had gathered all the kids together in the room.
And so that afternoon, that first day of this new winter, not my birthday, my baby sister went away.
We had a service here the next day and then formed a caravan of family members to drive down to Baltimore to the old homestead at Rosedale Cemetery. She had made it clear that she wanted to be buried with the family there. I see it that she just wanted to crawl into bed with our mother at the end when she was so sick; that seemed to be the only thing that would comfort her. Of course, we followed her wishes; what other control did she have over her death?
It was raining steadily that next day. But it was a warm rain. It could have been snowing. It could always be worse, right?
I will perhaps get to all of my take-aways from the experience, which seem to be also the names of movies. The one that I’ll mention now is the category/movie “Silver Linings”. Lots and lots of those I saw, mostly because I had to make it into something so it wouldn’t hurt so much. And because there were so many clouds of all kinds.
My BIL has a lovely family who I got to know pretty well over the last few weeks. They all started gathering in beforehand to help, and then the rest came to be with us. ISHI, my father, and I travelled with our BIL’s two sisters on the way down. One of them was not wearing a raincoat. I offered her my rain hat. My coat, which I had just recently bought, was covering me sufficiently without the need of the hat.
Pay It Forward, second movie title.
During the endless burial, with the heavy Baltimore red clay heavier from the rain, I felt the need to pull on my gloves.
One was there, one was gone.
It must have fallen out when I pulled the rain hat out of my pocket.
I had walked up to the street at one point. I needed to be alone. I realize now that the black material I noticed in the middle of the street, just a bit up from me, was probably my glove, shades of the floating plastic bag in American Beauty, without the movement.
I do have a really awful brother and that really doesn’t count for anything, except for more pain. I would love to lose that pain, but how I would love to find my brother, or even for him to find himself.
One of my nephews was always getting lost as a little one, to the point that he once found a security guard at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to declare his lost status. My BIL had been sitting right next to him. I have challenged him to tell the truth with me now and I with him, so that we both don’t get lost.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is that we only get to see a little bit of the picture. And we have absolutely no idea how Big the Picture really is.