and I want her back.
I want to stop replaying the sound of my mother crying over the phone, saying “Your sister’s been in an accident, and she’s gone.” I want to stop thinking about how I immediately bought a plane ticket home and hugged my mother in the rain in front of her house. About the conversation with the funeral director about whether or not she would be viewable because of the extensive damages. About reading some of her writing at her funeral and praying I could just make it to the next word.
She was 28. She was always a wild child, and had a history of drinking and driving. Her license had been suspended for a DUI, and she had no insurance. She was going to AA and had only one class left before she got her license back. We were all pulling for her and it looked as if her life was turning around.
But somehow at 9:50 last Wednesday night, 9/9/09–a week after I got laid off from work and two days before the nation planned to mourn an awful anniversary–she entered the Turnpike going the wrong way. We don’t know how or why, but she drove for six miles before slamming head-first into a huge pickup truck at 90 mph. That driver was okay, but my sister was killed instantly.
We did end up getting to see her. The funeral home did an amazing job, although her condition worsened over the next few days. By the day of the funeral, Monday, her bruises had darkened and the gash on her forehead was more defined. I tried to comfort both my parents as well as my stepdad the best I could, but I also needed comfort. I wanted to start over; I wanted to be best friends and never fight; I wanted to agree on everything and share secrets with each other.
It was never that kind of thing. But as I said at her funeral, I was so proud of her. She was my baby sister, and I loved her very much. And I want her back.