I have a bulletin board above my desk with a plethora of things pinned to it. Things that are thought inspiring and make me smile.
Amidst the duck calls and cards from friends and family you will find three handwritten quotes; one, written on the expo side reads:
I intend to know and fully believe- beyond the shadow of a doubt- that I create everything in my reality and that I can create the life of my dreams. #BOOM
(yes, I really did write in the #BOOM at the end, makes it more official)
The other two quotes that are on my bulletin board are pinned and they always stop me in my tracks when I read them. Both of them are about loss and this time of year, with the holidays just around the corner, they always seem to be hitting home even more so than normal.
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone? ~Jodi Picoult
How many brothers or sisters do you have? What was once such a simple question became the hardest and most awkward question for me to answer. It would leave me feeling all like, well, I guess Sadness.
My answer used to be so easy, so fluid, and didn’t require me to even think. I don’t even remember myself before I was a sister. I mean I obviously know that I existed because I’m the eldest by 5 years but in terms of memory, I don’t remember never not being a sister. So how do you answer the question that you know is coming but still blindsides you every time it is asked?
There’s this little app called TimeHop and if you don’t have it you should. It’s pretty great and shows you all the memories you’ve collected via social media, your icloud photos, etc. for that particular day.
Any who, on Valentines Day, when I logged into the app it had this warning (which I thought was genius by the way):
I really thought about that warning and how I’d like to have one, not for the douche bags I’ve dated in the past but for everyday life. Like when I see a picture of my sister pop up on someone’s news feed or some kind of warning that comes on the radio before Macklemore drops the beat for Thrift shop. You see that was the song that played what seemed like non stop when I was in California for a surprise visit to see Ashlee before she passed away. We spent hours in the car driving from one appointment to the next and the one thing we could count on is that Thrift Shop would play at least 10 times and hour. In the words of Eric Church, “funny how a melody, sounds like a memory…”
Some of the best moments in my days are when I see her tagged in a picture on social media or when I come across a card she sent me. Or when I’m shopping at TJMaxx and come across a collection of pig inspired decor. They are unexpected and wonderful reminders of an amazing person I once knew and had the privilege to call my sister.
Although these moments are often the best they are also the hardest; which is where the second quote comes in to play:
“Grief is the price we pay for love.” ~Queen Elizabeth
Oh Queen Elizabeth, you hit the nail on the head with that one. Grieving is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart because it never stops, it’s something that you deal with every day. When you love someone and you lose them you never forget them and you hope others won’t either. But the fact of the matter is that life goes on and while I would give anything to FaceTime Ashlee tonight I can’t. So instead I’ll smile, be thankful for those that I can FaceTime, and cherish the memories I have.