disbelief and the reality..

I swear every step we took once we left the elevator seemed as it was the length of a football field, I can’t tell you how we made it to the parking lot or how I got to our parents’ house. My girls were already there as well as a majority of our family and friends who had come from the hospital as well as those who had heard wanted to come and see what they could do & lend their support. We had a few people come by the house in utter shock as they had stopped by the hospital to visit/see us and were told my sister had past, can you imagine their shock when they came out to the house, YES I can! We were raised in a small town and we had lived in the same house for nearly 30 years now, so to say the least it’s a place that had welcomed a few people over the years.
The afternoon quickly turned into evening, most of the friends had gone home, a few family members hung around making sure we were all ok for the night, the girls had gone home with their dad’s mother who had gone to the hospital and then came to the house after hearing the news, she wanted to make sure the girls were ok and I was most appreciative as I was going to obviously be staying with my parents and my sister tonight at their house. My mom was a “zombie” that is the best way to describe her state, my dad was busy, he was not/could not sit still, my sister and I were cleaning up and making sure our parents were settling in for the night as the 4 of us then sat and discussed that we would definitely take a drive to Merced first thing tomorrow morning to see the baby and make sure his needs were now met and he was taken care of, I was excited to meet him for the first time, we now had to hurry and grieve and focus on this new little life, we had to make sure we focused on him and got him home. WAIT, his mom just died, how will he handle this, what is going to happen to him? Panic was setting in for sure!
Our parents went to bed, we tucked them in and made our way to the living room to sit and "veg" for just a moment, we sat in silence and before we knew it was almost 2 a.m., it had only been a couple of hours now and we both said we should really get some sleep, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow and before we knew it our dad came into the living room, quietly and kissed us each on the forehead and covered us with our favorite blankets we used as little girls staying up all night as if we were having a sleep over.
My sister and had I sat and reminisced about our childhood and our youngest sister who had just passed and as sudden and tragic as it was we laughed just as much as we cried. I married right out of high school and I was off and all about living my own life, I had a huge responsibility of caring for my two youngest sister's pretty much all my life as well as my grandmother {my senior year of high school} who had passed years prior to cancer just 3 months after her diagnosis, so for me to really 'know' & be connected to my family was something that had been absent in my life for a few years, this was going to be a definite reconnect but one I would have preferred to have happened in a much different light!
My sister talked a lot about her and Tanya and the shenanigan's they would get into and the trouble they were constantly dodging, the parties they attended and the fun they had on the road trips that they took from time to time also how she knew Tanya was not going to finish high school and was down on herself for not being more involved with her `growing up` than she was worried about having a good time and partying herself. I told her, she was in that "teenage/graduated" stage and it should have been about her, she should have been finding herself, within reason of course and that Tanya was also coming to a stage where she was also needing to figure out her life and what her life plan was, what she wanted to do, needed to do and get on track by finishing school or securing a job. I looked at my sister and I cried, I balled, she asked what was wrong, what did she say to upset me so much, I told her there was nothing she said, it was me and how horrible I felt that I do NOT have those memories, I had no "fun" stories, she stopped me with huge tears in her eyes and looked at me and said but "YOU got to put the band-aids on her cuts and scrapes" you got to comfort her in her pain, you got to hold her when she did not feel good!" We both sat and I think at that moment had cried ourselves to sleep and that is where our dad found us.

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