My sister Carol was 4 years younger than I. My sister Bonnie was 2 years younger than Carol. Thomas, the youngest was 10 years younger than I was. Growing up, my sisters were very close. I was the oldest and 4 years older. After I married and had my two children, Carol moved back to town. She was also married and had a child, so we had a few things in common. All of us were movie buddies and tended to run around together. I never really missed having outside friends.
Carol and I grew closer as time went on. We liked the same things and shared the same political views. Besides movies, we liked doing crafts together. We started doing needlepoint and embroidery together. Carol began a spiritual search in her life, and then God became a topic of our shared conversations. Later, I invited her to sing in our choir. We were cantors together and went to choir practice together. She decided to join the Catholic Church and I was her sponser and mentor during her journey of learning and self-discovery. What a wonderful gift it is to share in someone’s spiritual quest. I remember glorious conversations and sharing of God and Church and the Bible and Holy Spirit at work in the world. We shared so much and became so close, I began telling people we were twins, just not born at the same time.
When she was 44, one night she passed out while sitting at her kithen table. Her husband heard her hit the floor and came to see what had happened. She was turning blue and coulldn’t breathe. In the hospital, it was discovered she had passed a blood clot to her lung. I had been out of town and got back the next afternoon to find out she was in the hospital. Visiting her there, she seemed tired, but mostly her old self. I helped her eat her supper and said goodnight. The next day was Sunday. I called after Church to see if I needed to bring her anything. The nurse told me she had a restless night and was napping. A couple of hours later, Carol’s husband called saying the hospital said she had taken a turn for the worse and to get there as soon as possible. I had to pass my pastor’s house on the way to the hospital, so stopped to see if he could come also.Since I lived closer, I and my pastor were the first to get there. Walking with a cane slowed me down, so i sent Fr. Tash on ahead to see her. When I reached her room, it was filled with people working on her. She had passed another blood clot and was unresponsive. They put her on a respirator, but Fr. Tash said her eyes were already dialated when he got there and had already said final prayers for her.
We waited for her husband to arrive, and had to make the choice to take her off of the respirator and let nature take its course. Holding her hand during those last few minutes of life was very difficult. She was my best friend, my buddy, my spiritual and prayer friend, my other half. She was everything good in life and made me smile. Losing her felt like I had lost half of myself. It took me almost 2 years to grieve for her. It has been 12 years now, and while the pain has gone, I still remember and miss her. it was the most difficult goodbye I ever had.