Monday, July 24, 2006

In Memoriam

July 24th isn't the best of days for me. Today marks the twelfth anniversary of my youngest sister's death. We lost her to a senseless act of violence on July 24, 1994.

The normal flow of life goes on, as it must, but the 24th of July has become a day of remembrance, a day of reflection.

I remember every nuance of that hot, humid Sunday evening in 1994 as though it happened last night. I remember what I was wearing. I remember what I was planning for the next day. I remember that my hair was sopping wet. I remember what I was doing when The Call came around 9:45 that night. It was my mother calling. On some level, I comprehended what she was telling me, but I kept mumbling, "What? What?" Finally, I handed the phone to my husband and told him to "Find out" while I paced the room repeating the same mantra over and over again: "Oh, my God. Oh, my God." I remember the unsettling dichotomy of feeling shocked to my core yet, at the same time, not surprised. We'd all known it was coming, sooner or later. My sister had predicted it herself, just weeks before.

After The Call came the almost slow-motion surrealism of The Scene, the preternatural calm demanded of us for the delicate Q&A with her (never charged) killer, the danse macabre with inept cops that would continue long after that night.

I remember it all every July 24th, relive much of it. When I plop down on the ground beside her grave in the lonely cemetery with an armful of flowers, talk to her, tell her what's new, the pain is as fresh and raw as it was twelve years ago and I cry as though my heart is breaking all over again.


The Rick said...

Just dropping a note to say I send my best in your time of pain. It's never easy to lose a sibling. I, too, lost a sister. While she was older, I still know that losing immediate family is hard. the wound never heals, just gets covered until the next time life rubs it. Sorry if this is a stupid comment, just wanted to send my thoughts and prayers in your time of pain.

Serena Joy said...

Thank you, Rick. And no, I don't think your comment was stupid at all; rather, it was very touching. I'm sorry for your loss as well.

RainbowDemon1952 said...

Serena, As you well know, this past week for me has not been a good one. Two losses in three days! I can feel your pain and I empathize with you reliving this horrid day over and over, year after year. I truly hope you managed to get thru it and that someday justice can be served, whether in this world or the one that lies beyond, and the person or persons responsible are finally brought to justice for their actions. As you know, I, too, lost a sister many years ago that I never knew, and though I never felt the loss at the time of her passing, I feel the loss daily knowing that I never got to know the wonderful young girl who passed away at the age of eleven years old and I never was able to have her presence influence my life.
God bless and give you strength.

Serena Joy said...

Your kind words are much appreciated, RD. I'm thinking about you with your double losses, too. Things are gonna get better.