Today, March 11th, would have been my sister’s 47th birthday. Sadly she passed away from breast cancer 6 years ago. My sister Sue was a wonderful woman – a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and my best friend. Many many (too many) of you out there have lost your own “Sue’s” and today I want to celebrate the life of your lost loved ones while I celebrate Sue.
If you are new to this blog (and how could you not be – I’M new to this blog) you may (or may not) have read about my preventative double mastectomy here . I have my sister Sue to thank for that. Her illness is the main reason I was gene tested and had my surgery before any signs of cancer developed – reducing my risk from 85% to 2% and just about guaranteeing that this shitty illness will not be the thing that takes me down. My sister wasn’t so lucky. She died at 40 and left behind a grieving family including two beautiful girls.
But today is supposed to be a celebration. The journey through grief is intricate, confusing, astoundingly painful and non-linear – at least it has been for me. In years past I have gone fully fetal on Sue’s birthday but today I want to open up my memory box and let some of her light in. But I need back up lest the waves of woe wash me out to sea. So I’m bringing in some heavy hitters to help out:
Sailor Jerry will literally be the anchor. No, I’m not a drunk but occasionally drinking helps. And I’m gonna add some daiquiri fixins so it’s more like a meal. Speaking of food I’m going for top-notch nutrition as well…
Oh there is nuts and fruits and whatnot in here – it’s basically like fucking granola – but way way better. My sister liked to poke her finger in the bottom of the candy to see what she was getting herself into before she committed – use to bug me but today I’m drilling every single one of these bad boys before I take a bite in her honor.
Then there is the entertainment portion of the afternoon…
Oh yeah that’s right – and I’m not even remotely embarrassed. I love this movie. My sister loved this movie. I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing without dissolving into tears since Sue died but today I think I can make it through. I have Sailor Jerry and candy and my teenage daughter Maya (who has never seen it) to help me through.
And today I will gladly raise my glass (or eat a candy if you prefer) to your loved one and take a moment to celebrate them if you like. Leave their name in the comments and know they will be saluted. If you have a memorial tattoo for someone you have lost I would be honored if you would share it. Death has no season but always visits us too soon. I love you Sue and miss you too much every day.