I have been thinking about you a lot lately.
Recently I placed a frame photo of you and me in the kitchen, it has brought with it a range of memories and emotions.
I have found myself shedding silent tears over that photo.
The reminders of what we were, who you were as a person, and who you were yet to become, as well as the person you never got to be.
Our kitchen, like many others is often a busy place, and I have smiled at this photo as well, while I wait for the kettle to boil, or while you catch my eye in the early morning rush of emptying the dishwasher as fast as I can.
I find myself smiling at you a lot.
I like that.
Our lounge room also has a reminder of you, the tapestry you made for me as the very last present you ever gave me, sunflowers, my favorite flower. You were always so good at long stitch, and it passed some of your time while you were in hospital.
It seems a bit old fashioned to some, but it hangs there, pride of place to remind me of you. (I am so sorry about the cob web on the top right hand corner, I shall remove that at once!)
Each and every time I look at it, I think of you. (the tapestry, not the cobweb that is!)
Right now, my kids are watching tv, with your work of art looking over them, they are oblivious to the fact that a part of Aunty Tamina is in the room with them.
I took them to the cemetery to visit your grave recently, they put wild flowers on your headstone, without having to be told, they were very respectful about it, the photo I quickly snapped brings tears to my eyes when I look at it now.
I do not think of you as being there in that cemetery, I prefer to think of your soul being released and free, and you living around us, and in our memories of you.
Noah does not understand death, he thinks his Aunty Tamina lives in a different country and that one day we will save up the airfare to go visit you.
You would have been an amazing Aunty, my kids would have loved you so much, after all they love you anyhow having never even met you, they know you are an important person.
Do you remember those matching duck necklaces we had? Kiara found mine and wears it all the time.
I tried to keep it away and special, but think it is meant to be worn. I think of us whenever she wears it, it is old and worn, but it is nice that a part of our childhood together lives on. She knows it is special.
It has now been over 14 years since you passed away.
It took a few years for me to be able to talk about you without bursting into tears. This is a sign of healing, though there will always be a bit of a wound in my heart, open from the day you left us.
I have been spending a bit of time at Doctors and specialists lately. I have been rather sick, nothing life threatening, just a reduction of the quality of my life.
Last week, the specialist asked me to go over my family history, suddenly a lump appeared in my throat when it came to talking about you.
I think about how over Doctors surgeries I am, and the thought of being poked and prodded, then I think of how much more you had to endure then me, the months in hospitals, the surgeries and needles, the sickness and pain, and all in the end being told despite this, despite all they put you through, it was never enough to save you.
Man you must have been pissed off with the hand you had been dealt in life.
Sometimes I just feel fucking outraged at the unfairness of it all.
Days I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs
FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!
Unfortunately millions of other people in the world feel like screaming the same words with me.
14 years on, it just does not seem like we are any closer to a cure, I hope I am wrong, I hope one is just around the corner.
One of the hardest things is being asked about my family, if I have any brothers or sisters, and what they are doing now.
There is no nice way to say “I have a sister, she is dead”
Then people say “oh, you are an only child then?”
I’m not an only child, to say that means you never existed, and that is just not true.
I wish you never left, I wish you could have stayed, but I feel so blessed to have even got to spend 18 years with you in my life.
Man you were brave.
Gosh I admire you.
Oh how I miss you,
Every, single day.
Loving you Always,
Little Sis xoxo