I calculated the years yesterday and it's hard for me to believe my younger sister has been gone for eight years now.
I can still recall that awful time as if it were happening now. She had a stroke and began having seizures. I remember the doctors telling us that each seizure caused damage, and the longer they went on, the more bleak the outcome. Her seizures lasted two days, but I knew she was gone long before that time.
I can remember walking into the ICU, and seeing her, and sobbing my heart out. It was nothing that I ever expected to see, and nothing I ever want to witness again. I can remember dreaming of her for weeks and crying in my dreams, feeling that pain in my chest and throat as if I were experiencing it awake. I remember the dreams changing and she would come to me and hug me really hard, and I would get to tell her I loved her one more time. I remember that in my dreams she didn't have Downs Syndrome.
Shortly after she died, I was having lunch at a restaurant with my husband, and a young man with Downs came into the restaurant. I looked at him and my throat started to ache with unshed tears. It was a long time before I could think of her and not cry, think of her and remember all the joy she brought everyone, all the fun things we did together as kids.
I will remember everything you taught me about life and loving and acceptance.
I will remember you.