“I just feel like… there’s no time left. Like I am out of time… don’t you ever feel like that?” My older sister stood before me, crying and anxious.
Ohmygod. She even cries beautifully.
That was my first thought. The next was to wonder what the hell she was even talking about. Her life had always been perfect.
My sister was 38, a former cheerleader, model, and beauty pageant winner. She was married to her high school sweetheart with whom she had three wonderful kids. She had a successful career and was still so breathtakingly beautiful that other women would often try to emulate her style.
What do YOU have to cry about? Seriously. Ugh.
I hugged her to me, unsure what to say next because honestly, she was weirding me out. I didn’t know where her uncomfortable emotional deluge was coming from, but I wanted it to end. I was eleven years her junior. The little sister. Why is it suddenly my job to help her while she loses her shit for no apparent reason?
I proceeded to tell her she was silly to feel the way she did. I discounted her sense of dread by blaming her feelings on stress and/or hormones. I tried to get her “back to normal” as soon as possible with my cheery, empty encouragement.
Less than one year later, I received a call from my panicked mother saying my sister had collapsed at home while getting ready for work.
My sister had died of a brain aneurysm.
She was 39 years old.
Perhaps my sister knew, by way of some premonition, that her time was nearing an end. I will never know what was on her mind.
If I could have one more day with her, I would choose to return to when she told me she felt there was no time left. I would take her to get one of those fancy coffees she adored and I would just would sit with her and listen.
I would listen for as long as she’d speak.