I pick up the story that I wrote on my blog on June 24, 2014. (A Summer’s day that burned) https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/a-summers-day-which-burned/
I’m told by writer friends much smarter than I, that “cliff-hangers” are ok in books, but not really on blogs. So I’m going back to part of the story.
This is my sister Audrey’s birthday.
I don’t have the heart to write the actual words my Aunt spoke to me. At my high school that day, my Aunt and Uncle told me about my sister’s death. Robotically, I entered their car. I tried hard to rationalize it away on that five minute drive home. This had to be some epic mistake. Audrey might be sick and it wouldn’t be as bad as they thought.
Our family had a very hard time talking about my mom’s death. Then right on the heels of losing her, we lost my sister Audrey too. I was 15 years old. This time, I understood what was going on. At the time of my mom’s death I was so young that I couldn’t verbalize my feelings and I was just lost in the crowd. This time, it was a totally different dynamic and I was thrown right into a blinding spotlight.
Arriving at the farmhouse, the car had not stopped before I was running to the front door. There in the front yard, was an ugly black hearse in the exact same place it had parked to take my mom away. I frantically got past a few family members, just in time to see the dreaded scene. Two black-suited men were carrying my dear sister out from upstairs. She was covered from head to toe in a white sheet. Out the front door they went, resolutely put her in the back, the doors made a loud thud, and the engine fired.
I stood there in the living room.
This. Could. Not. Be.
It was eerily like the day eight years earlier. Except this time, they didn’t take my mommy, they took my best friend.
The night before had been so real.
Last night, Audrey and I had decided to go down the road. I was jogging, and she was riding bike next to me, as we chattered like teenage sisters do. She was 18, and in my eyes could do no wrong. We ended the night with laughing and dancing to the new records she had acquired. She brought me into new worlds-the music groups of Eagles and Abba…the exchange students from Germany…the help with twirling baton…the late night “slumber parties” when things were whispered, giggling long and hard.
Audrey Marie, I still love you and miss you. Happy Birthday.
It would have been so precious to have more time. Maybe we would have traveled together. Certainly planned our weddings together and been maid of honor for each other. We would have possibly lived close enough to snuggle one another’s babies on our hips and go to soccer games together. We all could have watched you blossom into the incredible artist you were becoming.
Save a beautiful multi-colored painting for me, my dear sister. I’ll join you and mom at the pearly gates. The colors there must be beyond anything you could have imagined on your earthly canvases.