7 days since you closed your eyes one last time and went forever to sleep.
I still hear your laugh in my head can see your smile and I am reminded of your silliness in when I am inappropriate too.
My dear sweet Meems. Oh how I miss you.
I want to hear you say 'hey Ambs.." while giving you a squeeze.
I keep waiting to hear you giggle before you get to the punch line and ruin the joke.
I miss your stories about my husband from when he was young.
Your light shined brighter than this earth could handle and we are all better for basking in your glow.
Sleep well sister.
We'll see you again."
It's weird the way life throws things at you.
A few weeks ago I was writing about my father and his stroke and how it was taking a toll but I was sort of making it through. What I never touched on was the battle that my sister-in-love was fighting in a hospital a few miles over from him. Since August cancer has been wreaking havoc on her body and last month, on a Wednesday, her heart finally gave out.
She had fought the good fight and gone gently into that long goodnight.
The days leading up to it were the hardest thing I think our family has ever experienced.
Watching my nephew, her son, hold her hand the whole day prior while also holding on to hope,absolutely gutted me.
Praying for a miracle.
We all were I think. Praying what the doctors were saying wasn't true. That her body wasn't failing her and she would suddenly pull through. Praying we didn't have to give her up and this was all just a bad dream. We all kept waiting for her to wake up and tell us to get out because she had to pee. It never happened and our nightmare became a horrifying reality.
Our Mimi was leaving us and no one knew what to do.
When she was put on a ventilator we held out hope that it would give her a respite in her ragged breathing and the chemo would help shrink a tumor or two. We told her we loved her and rubbed her arms, legs and kissed her face. We told stories of days long gone, trips taken, parties attended and laughs had all because of her. She made our hearts light and we shared photos from our phones and text messages. And it was all so surreal. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING?
When I got the text to come to the hospital my heart stopped. I didn't want to go and yet there was no way we could not. I rushed home to drop of the boy and scoop up D and we raced down the freeway to the rest of the family. Fully unaware of what awaited once we arrived.
You could feel the sorrow in the air. Cousins, friends and family gathered in the hallways and lounges. Huddled and hugged, the silence broken by the occasional sob and subsequent blow into a tissue. Muted conversations while staring into phones. This can't be life. This can't be real. How are we even supposed to deal?
She was our heartbeat. The baby of the girls. She was also a mother and his whole world.
On Tuesday we cried and said good-bye as we held each other tight. We made promises to our nephew to give it one more night. And still we hoped. Because our hearts could not grasp what our eyes were seeing. Our minds whirling with thoughts as we watched her son keep his vigil by her side. How will we do this? How will we get through? In the midst of all this heaviness, how will celebrate the Thanksgiving the next day?
I've been at a loss for words for days. Alternating between crying and laughing through tears. Trying to keep busy and stay occupied lest my thoughts betray me and my eyes start leaking and ruining my mascara. Then carrying on with my day. Whether in the checkout line at the grocery store, picking up my kids or simply washing the dishes, these days I'm often overcome with waves of grief. Tears welling up behind my eyes. A large unwieldy lump in my throat. And it doesn't even feel right to mourn and wail tell my husband how sad I am. Because that's his sister. and I know he is heart-broken in a way I'll never understand.
I also know we are not alone in our sorrow. Mimi touched everyone she ever met and our hearts our collectively weeping for one another right now.
So we hold one another up, and keep each other close. Text messages and photos whizzing back and forth, tears shed and laughs shared.
Things fall apart, often so they can come back together stronger and more grand. I have no doubt that will be the case with my fam. We're slowly falling apart and it will take time to put us back together, but no doubt we will be stronger than before. A force of Dorsey strength and badassery just like Mimi would have wanted us to be.
And while I am hurting it also doesn’t feel like it is solely mine to mourn. Mimi was so much to so many people. To her sisters she was their best friend. Their confidant and co-conspirator in shenanigans. To her son she was more than his mother she was his best friend. To me she was my sister-in-love whom I also called friend. She was a laugh, and big smile in a tiny package.
She was the best aunt to my kids and they loved to spend time with her. She was silly and fun and all the kids loved her, and she loved them wholeheartedly.
I'm not a fan of this new hellish reality. I remember looking out the window and marveling at how people were still bustling about and it somehow seemed wrong.
"Didn’t the world just stop?"
"Just ours." one sister replied.
Oh shit. She was right.
Mimi was our heartbeat.
She meant the world to me. To all of us really.
What do you say about someone who’s very laugh could cause others to break out into their own raucous laughter? Who’s smile was so bright she lit up a room?
Being the baby of her sisters, Mimi commanded attention from everyone.
You know how everyone has that one family member who keeps in touch with everyone and knows who is married to whom, who just had a baby and who’s grandmother’s sister’s cousin is sick? That was Mimi. Always Meems to me. Forever in hearts she will always be.
Tomorrow we say good bye as a family and try to put the pieces back together. It won't be easy this much we know, but so long as we have each other, I think we'll be okay.
We love you Mimi.