We’ve never really been close and that was no one’s fault.
You’d left home before we could ever get to know each other, and you had a child of your own.
I always looked up to you and admired your beauty and intelligence. We looked alike but were quite different in most other ways. So our lives would go in quite different directions, but I always wanted and yearned for a sister.
I remember when you were first diagnosed, and I would go to Jazz Night at the pub and hear this song playing. I knew that I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about your diagnosis, and I also knew that it wasn’t something you and I could talk to each other about either. But as the band played this song I’d sit quietly and think of you. And, Janelle, I’d shed a tear for what could have been.
Now… you’ve been through so much… you lost a son to suicide, and you survived many battles with the Big C and all the while I watched and admired you. My sister, a good friend, mother, and the best aunty ever to my own son …somehow you didn’t give up…
And when I had a child of my own and I suffered the depths of post-natal depression and became suicidal lying in a bedroom, off in another world of darkness and what seemed a never-ending angst of self-loathing and immense emotional pain that was so great It felt like no one could possibly understand, it was your phonecall out of the blue saying ‘Hey Lynette I’ve been where you are, and I made through’ that gave me the hope and will to live, to come back from the darkness.
I don’t have many memories of childhood with you and only a few brief pictures in my mind of moments in time when you were at the same family events and Mum, Dad and I and…well…our brother… that’s a story…
I knew this time would come but not so soon. It doesn’t seem fair that a woman who’s already been through so much should now suffer in pain and have to leave us all so early. Maybe I’m being selfish because I guess deep down, I’ve always wanted us to try again and be sisters and friends.
So on Sunday I sent you a goodbye message in the chat you’d set up because unlike the song we never really did talk on the telephone but I can dream…can’t I?
Because like you said to me ‘I love you too, see you on the other side’…maybe there we can be the sisters I dreamt of