Today makes one year since I last spoke to my sister. One year since I heard her voice and her laugh. It's funny how I remember so much about that conversation, but other points in time I have zero recollection. I was sitting in the hospital room with John after his second back surgery and he was pretty loopy on pain meds. My parents had taken the kids for dinner that evening, so I could have some quiet time at the hospital with my husband. Little did I know that I would have a LOT of quiet time thanks to all the pain killers he was on. He would nod off in mid-conversation ... pretty funny if you ask me. Anyway, I forget who called who, but we were on the phone for a good 45 minutes chatting about nothing really, and ... it was nice. It finally felt like we were getting back to a normal sister relationship after a few years of a strained relationship. I remember being completely at ease and happy when I got off the phone with her. She was even telling me I should move back to PA, so she could help with the boys. She loved them so much! And I knew she'd be a huge help if we ever did move back.
We talked about that coming weekend. My mother-in-law was coming down on Saturday and staying for the week to help me with John when he got home from the hospital. John was also to be discharged on Saturday. On Sunday she said she and Mike were going to the pumpkin patch to get their pumpkins for Halloween.
I also recall she was making dinner while we were on the phone. In fact we hung up just before they sat down to eat that night. She was making tacos ... one of Mike's favorite meals. I remember she didn't know how much water to add to the skillet until I reminded her it was on the taco kit box. haha At that point she needed to go so she could set the table and they could eat dinner, so we said our goodbyes and hung up. One thing I DIDN'T say and I will regret it until the day *I* die ... I love you. Three simple words and I didn't say it. They were right on the tip of my tongue, but I just didn't say it. I've tortured myself with that guilt for a year now, and I will continue to beat myself up over it for the rest of my days. Tears stream down my face as I type this ... I can't help it but be so sad and so sorry I never told her I loved her. The last word I SPOKE to her was "bye", not "I love you". I'm sure she understands and has forgiven me, but I cannot forgive myself.
It's hard to believe we're two days away from the first anniversary of Ashlee's death. It's been one of the fastest and slowest years of my life, but I have to say ... I'm glad this past year is almost over.