Thursday, November 2, 2017

I am an orphan at 62

Linda 1946-2017
It's been awhile since I've written. Last December, right before Christmas, my last remaining sibling was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized. As she was unmarried and her daughters lived out-of-state, I gladly stepped up to take her to her doctor appointments, helped her discuss end-of-life decisions, etc. At the beginning of August, she had an adverse effect from her chemo treatment, ended up in the hospital and was sent to a care facility for "rehab." The pain was so severe at this time that she was unable to participate in her rehab treatment and we had to move her to a different care center. I was able to get her on hospice care, and she sadly passed away on September 14, 2017.

Dennis 1948 - 2004
Since her passing, I've missed the sisters celebrating our birthdays in September and October, a tradition we started when we lost our brother at the age of 56. So now I'm 63 and am an orphan, having lost my dad in 1992, brother in 2004, oldest sister in 2013, mother in 2014, and Linda in September 2017.

Sandra 1943-2013
Gladys 1927-2014
I hate it. There is no one to call to gossip with or share news stories with. There is no one to call to ask, do you remember? No one to answer family questions. There is no one to call to commiserate with when I feel like life is not fair. There is nothing crueler in life than having no birth family left. I almost feel like there is no need to have a telephone anymore as my sisters and my mother were the ones I called all the time.

And to think that other families let small things get in the way of their relationships and do not talk with one another or go out of their way to avoid being together. Do these people realize what they are missing? You can't take back the years you did not speak.

So if you have a parent or sibling you haven't spoken with, do me a favor and call them up. Tell them you love them and miss them terribly and you are sorry that you let anything get in the middle of your relationship. Will you do this?

As my brother ended all emails and correspondence,

Friends and family forever.

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