People are stupid and my sister is dead.

These two things are related, but not causally, so let me explain. I tell this story not to get sympathy, but to make the point that people are stupid. I am including myself in that broad generalization because I am, ostensibly, a people. But I also want to make a point that people aren’t just stupid — they can also be full of love and be willing to make unbelievable sacrifices. They are often confused, but always learning. They usually don’t deal with stress well, yet are often capable of coming to amazing, sublime realizations.

Here are a few conclusions I came to today after my car wouldn’t start at the hospital, having just completed some thoroughly unenjoyable blood tests and picked up a replacement JP drain that will allow me to continue to have a fun little rubber bag dangling from my liver for the foreseeable future (different sob story for another time). I tried calling and texting my 12-year-old so we could coordinate how he could get where he needed to be and when since I wouldn’t be able to drive him. Parent stuff. But I had no success getting him to pick up the phone or respond to texts. When I finally got home I marched in and got in his face, yelling at him for charging his phone on vibrate mode. I threatened to take away his phone “privileges” because I am the almighty giver and taker-away of phone privileges in this house, dammit, and if its only purpose is to play games and text your friends then I will light it on fire and throw it through the bloody Verizon store window while you weep and wail. Point made (I’m big on making points), I stormed out before I had to hear him break down in tears or break out laughing at the rabid lunatic who slightly resembled his father.

I have yelled at my sons more in the past three days than I have in the past two years. My sister Karrie Ellen died three days ago and I haven’t yet cried about it, despite adoring her deeply and missing her more than I can remember missing anything or anyone as much as I miss my daughter (another long sob story for another time). I keep waiting for the denial to end and the tears to flow, but it hasn’t happened yet. And it has taken me four days to make the yelling/not crying correlation because I am an effing idiot.

I miss Karrie Ellen and that pain will never go away. I just hope I can deal with it in a way that involves less screaming at my children.

I miss her teaching us by example every day that the best way to face life is to grab the horns and just hang on and laugh while it whips you around and tries to stamp the laughter out of you.

I’ll never be lucky enough to ever again hear that deep belly laugh and flash a quick wink to her when hearing it after something I said, knowing it must’ve been something really funny.

I miss having that person who shows you that if something isn’t worth doing with all the passion in your heart, that it’s probably not worth doing.

Some people are lucky to have someone, even if only briefly, to teach and share these things with us. Even stupid people like me.

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