Monday, March 19, 2012

I sent you a text today...

I sent you a text today but I know you’re not there.
You left at about 5.30am on September 27, 2011. You left on your own terms, in your own way, as you did just about everything.
I miss you. I felt absurd relief when that text sent. I know sooner or later I’ll send one and it will fail. I dread that day.
Cancer took you, but this open letter to you, my darling Tiara Lady, is not about cancer. At first I wanted to vent, to rage and rant. How dare this hideous disease take you? How dare it rob you – and us – of the other thirty years or so that you were owed in your life?
But what would I want to say to you, if I had you in front of me, if I had your arms wrapped round me in one of your legendary, fiercely loving hugs?
Would I want to be angry? Sad?
I’d just want to say one thing – thank you.
You were so generous. Yes, yes I know you hate fuss but shut up and listen. There were countless times you put aside your own issues (and they were BIG issues) to give me comfort, guidance and just plain love. You were dying but you were always so generous, always giving of yourself. I know I’m not unique in this – you were always giving to everyone. Yes you were, don’t argue!
Remember waiting up when my plane was late and then getting me drunk in your kitchen? We regaled each other with stories from our pasts that made us both cough and wheeze with laughter. Thank you for forming the Happy Sisters Band with me, a singing group who can’t sing, sure to clear a room in ten seconds. We were available for weddings, bah mitzvahs, children’s birthday parties. Rumours of a national tour are sadly unfounded.
Thank you for asking me for help. I felt ten feet tall when you asked me to contact your doctor’s surgery when they were messing you around and you didn’t have the energy to sort it out. It was a privilege to be able to help out, even in the most mundane ways. Especially in the mundane ways. At chemo, even then you made me laugh. At last you got to have that special pink stuff that you’d admired so much when you first got sick. Hooray.
The image of you mentally spear gunning that chick from the bakery will stay in my mind forever (especially now that I’ve met her – you were right to pin her to the wall).
The sun catcher incident. You and the cleaner saw cat vomit on the floor, (you had five cats, it’s quite possible for there to be random cat spew around the place). She scrubbed the floor for half an hour before either of you realised the spot wasn’t cat puke, but a mote of light from the sun catcher. You were so ill you were in bed most of the time, and needed entertainment. You told me this simple glass ornament gave you hours of pleasure, watching the spinning motes of light, but I think you loved the cat vomit incident most of all.
Remember when I visited in a hire car and got stuck in your driveway, unable to get the car doors open? I kept unlocking the doors but I just couldn’t get them open. You heard me drive up and wondered why it was taking me fifteen minutes to get the groceries out of the car. You came out and watched as I desperately tried to escape the car. It took another five minutes for me to realise that locked was unlocked and vice versa so every time I was “unlocking” the doors I was locking them again. You had the most infectious, deep, throaty cackle of a laugh when you were telling someone how dumb they are. I miss that laugh.
You were always blisteringly honest. Nobody would ever die not knowing what you thought of them. I admire that.
Did you know the extraordinary, beautiful, amazing Karen has kept your Facebook pages up to help give everyone comfort? I know you hate fuss, but some of us need it.
Thank you for accepting me and loving me as if we’d known each other for just under twenty years instead of just under two. You took me into the circle of love without question or hesitation. You were an extraordinary person and I hope you know how loved you are.
On our birthday this year - 11 years apart but on the same day - I’ll be raising a glass to the photo of us on my mantelpiece. I hope you’ll have a glass of your whiskey liqueur and do the same.
I miss you, but most of all I’m thankful that I knew you.
Wherever you are, I hope you’re reading those texts, reading your Facebook page, and having a good throaty chuckle at all the fuss.
Looks like I’m not quite ready to stop sending those texts.


  1. Ok, crying now. Great post Michaela like Vuvuzela!

    I am glad you are ready to say all of this finally. I know it's been hard. I took it hard and I think you took it even harder than I did.

    I miss her and there's just no remedy, except for the circle of us to keep holding hands across the interwebs and lending a shoulder on the bad days.

    I woulda teased you too if you'd been stuck in a car for 15 mins!! LOL! That is pretty funny, you have to admit. ;) xox

  2. Sorry darling me too. Many sleepless nights with a wet pillow.

    I had to wait for the anger to abate I guess. Still wells up now and then! Yes, the circle of love is terribly important.

    Oh yes, I'm a dufus, that's for sure!