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Five Sixteenths

The fabulous, maybe mundane, but always truthful bloggings of a five-sixteenths something-er-other.

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Location: Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

I am a 28-year-old work at home mom and full time student. I am a member of the Leech Lake band of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Grief and my sister

I know I need to talk about my grief but it's hard to figure out what to say and even more difficult to think anyone wants to hear it. I know I wouldn't want to be depressed by reading about someone else's grief, even if I was in grief myself. But I guess I need to write a few things about my sister that made her her and that I want to remember. I still can't believe she is gone. She was only 24 and had an 8-year-old. I found out a lot about her life I didn't want to know or that I probably knew subconsciously but didn't want to admit I saw. I have a lot of guilt I'm trying not to carry. For one thing I'm the older sister and I'll always wonder why I was given a longer life than she was; what made me so worthy of extra time on earth? Why did I get the gift of growing up with my grandparents and getting a chance at survival and she had to grow up with my mom and be damned? It makes no sense. But on with the show.

The last real funny memory I have of my sister was Halloween 2002. After that we sort of separated ways because I got married, pregnant, and moved out of state. But around Halloween 2002 she was telling me about costume contests at all the local bars that she normally hit and how she wanted to win. So we were trying to figure out what she could be and I took her to a Halloween shop to look around, the night before Halloween I think. It was hilarious beacause she was 5'4" and about 100 pounds and she decided to go as a pimp. She put on a hat and had a cane and huge glasses and a glittery cup and she came out of the bathroom with a real serious look on her face and said, "Pimps up, hos down" and I just started cracking up. It was the most funny thing I had ever seen. I wish I had a photo.

Then when she admitted that when my niece wasn't home, she used her karaoke machine to get up on her bed and sing Christina Aguilera's "Dirty" song at the top of her lungs and I laughed so hard at the idea of her doing that. She's always been a ham, wanted to be in the spotlight. I remember going to a nightclub with her and her friend Melissa and she spilled a drink on a girls face. I was so freaked out that we were all gonna brawl that night but we laughed about it afterward.

there were the little things I couldn't stand. She would take the toothpaste on her toothbrush and smear it with her index finger, all over the sides of the toothbrush. It made no sense and it just was messy and pissed me off since I was such a perfectionist. The way she liked her cream of chicken soup lumpy so it was like warm milk with big chunks in it and I liked it smooth and creamy. We argued all the time about that. The way she hated turtlenecks so much because she swore they choked her.

She hated cleaning, couldn't cook, and loved amusement parks and rollercosters. She loved tubing down the Apple River in Wisconsin and barbecuing, laying out at the pool, and watching music videos. She loved to dance and sing and draw and was a really good artist. She wanted to be an archeologist and loved nature. She was scared of bugs and would scream bloody murder if she saw one. After she got bit by a dog a few years back, she was never the same about dogs and even if she saw a little poodle or toy Pomeranian, she'd scream and run. She was a cat person. Definitely. She had hamsters and gerbils and cats and fish and loved animals.

I was there when she went into labor with Aiyana, her daughter, and she was so nervous about it. She kept asking me, "am I in labor? I don't know. I don't want to go to the hospital and not be in labor. I'll feel dumb." So she writhed in pain for awhile until I convinced her it was ok and that if it was false labor, they'd understand but we needed to go. A few hours later, Aiyana was born and I'd never heard anyone scream so loud when they had a baby. You could hear her down the hallway. She refused to get an epidural or any anesthesia because she was paranoid that the needle would paralyze her. She was 15 and she said "I don't know how my friends DO this... how can they have babies? It hurts so bad!" She banished me from her room after awhile out of uncomfortable pain and rage and I giggled. GET OUT! She told me. I was one of the first to hold Aiyana. She loved being a mom, even when she lost custody of her, her goal was always to get her baby back.

She was so skinny and could eat like a horse and I never understood it. she could easily down steak and eggs for breakfast and eat a half a pizza for lunch. She loved salt and V8 juice and Mountain Dew. She loved Party Pizzas and Ramen noodles.

We used the same color makeup, ate the same toppings on our pizza, and shared the same confusion about our mom. We had different dads and when her dad died, it broke my heart just as much as it broke hers because I had to see her in pain too. Then when our mom died, I knew she'd never be the same. And she wasn't.


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