I’m home for the first time in seven years. This window I’ve peeked out of countless times looks foreign to me. I’m not crying. I don’t think I have since Tuesday. I’ve been in a state of perpetual motion and still a little too much in disbelief to think of how sad I am.
My sisters and I all traveled between Thursday and Friday. People have called and asked “Are all of y’all there now?” My mouth tells them we’re all here, but my brain is screaming how much of a lie that is. “All,” means Kelly. We’re here because there is no “all” anymore.
This is not real to me. I’m waiting for her to walk in with the babies and say something about traffic or air travel, and she isn’t.
My family’s strength helps navigate the pain. Last night I laid in the middle of everyone on the floor, and went to sleep. They had to bring something for me to sleep on. This is the first night in weeks that I was able to sleep with anything that resembled a clear mind. It wasn’t all, but it was a lot. It was enough. My parents and my sisters made it enough. My brother being here today will make it enough. Perhaps that’s what the process of losing the people you live is: learning how fleeting “all of it” is, then learning to cope with enough.
Kelly was abundance. Whether she filled my lap, my home, or my FaceTime screen, she was my overflow. I don’t remember anything or consequence in my life before Kelly and our baby sister Chloe were born. It was only then that “all of us” began. My siblings all love one another, but each one of us has this special relationship with Kelly. She and I had a special bond that bordered mother-daughter, but there was something about Kelly that made any relationship special because it was Kelly.
When my mother passed away, the only reaction I remember more clearly than my own was Kelly’s. I remember that day as though it’s playing out in front of me. I think that day was our family paying it’s debt to tragedy. Unfortunately, that isn’t real life. So I can only hope that, just as when my poor mama died — too kind and too young, pain will be replaced by hope and memories.
Kelly’s girls need us. They are both even younger than Kelly was when we lost our mama, and that might be the hardest pill to swallow. Her youngest is only three years old. I’ve never been one to count on the fairness of life, but to lose your mom before you are old enough to process what that truly means is one of life’s cruelties that I can’t comprehend.
I’m sure there are “right” things that I’m supposed to say here. Messages of encouragement and hope. But I don’t have it in me this morning. This morning, all I can do is make it through a day that I don’t fully believe is real and make that enough.