Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.
We walked out of the mall and the keys were inside the car. This was before cars were smart enough to not let you lock your keys inside of them. This was also before cell phones.
We waited by the car when mom walked back into the mall to call dad on a payphone. It took a long time and it was quite black out when she returned.
She said dad was on his way, her voice sounded funny.
As we stood next to the car she paused and then said, Ellen died today.
I couldn't wrap my head around it. This idea that she was gone. The idea that I wouldn't be able to talk to her anymore.
In the typical teenage way I decided firmly at that moment that I wouldn't eat cinnamon toast anymore. David Letterman wouldn't be funny again.
I was immediately struck with regret, for not asking her more.
Why didn't she get married?
Why did she dedicate her life to raising and caring for a selfish woman's children?
Was it because of the selfish woman and she knew from the beginning that she would need to protect those children from such a woman as her sister was?
Who did she whisper to when she didn't realize other people were around?
Did she ever regret not learning to drive, not being more independent, not creating a separate identity from her sister?
I still feel the loss. The loss of not asking. The loss of taking her for granted and the loss of not being old enough or mature enough to understand what it was she did for me when I was in that house with those women.
The funeral director for my Gma's funeral said that grief isn't something that is there and then gone. That most of the time grief is a new addition to your life that you simply learn to live beside. There are times it's more acute than others, but it never goes away. This loss.