March 9th ~ Strange Day

March 9th is now a strange day in my family๐Ÿ™ I need to purge this out of me…

March was always a hectic fun month in my family. March 9th is my older sister, Diane(DJ)’s birthday. My sister,Terri’s, birthday is March 15th, my birthday is March 21st and we have St. Patty’s Day smack in the middleโ˜˜ March was always a happy, drunkenโ˜บ๏ธ month filled joy, laughter and celebrations. Until March 1999.

From President’s Day through the beginning of March in 1999 my sister, Sandy, was on life support after a long battle with a rare degenerative disease, Polymyositis. I knew Sandy would not have wanted the extraordinary measures that were taken to save her life and I sensed early on she was not going to make it. Mother and sister, DJ, however, needed more time to adjust to our new reality. After close to two weeks of sleeping in hospital chairs, my DJ came to me and asked me, “Linda, have they been trying to tell us there’s nothing more that can be done?” Yes. The answer was yes. A few hours later around 8:00pm on March 8th, the entire immediate family met with the Doctors and our assigned Grief counselor in the PCICU Unit Conference room. It was at that time we agreed not to give Sandy any additional medication and we instituted a Do Not Resuscitate(DNR) order. Sandy died with her entire family by her side while I held her hand at 4:15am on March 9th.

So now March 9th is filled with the most painful memories of my life but it is also and still Diane’s birthday. Diane told me last year she hasn’t had a birthday in 16 years. I texted and talked to her a few times today, once while she was lost in the cemetery and she called me for directions๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Breaks my heart she has to go to the cemetery on her birthday. But I also think Sandy and Diane now share a bond that can never be broken. I tried to tell Diane that Sandy just wanted be close to her๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

I am not sad today. I had a fairly good day. I helped my sister this morning and encouraged her to do something special for herself today. I called my Mom. She made me laugh when she said, “I’m totally freaked out but ok!” ๐Ÿ˜‚ My BFF who is battling Cancer texted me to tell me she was able to drink a cup of coffee today without getting sick…woohoo! I helped a few coworkers. I had a lot of answers I didn’t know I had๐Ÿ˜‚ I gave a presentation that went well. Coworkers even told me I did a really good job๐Ÿ‘I think it went well because I tried to emulate my boss and kept things conversational; doing that took the anxiety out of it for me. I had the PowerPoint on the screen just as a reference point. I focused on connecting with the people and it went well. I focused on helping others today. I kept myself busy with positive things. I allowed happiness to be found on March 9th once again. I also had a long conversation with Sandy on my way home๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡ It was a good day. I am loved and blessed๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡

In Loving Memory ~ Sandra Marie Long (Sandy)โค๏ธ

This was my status update on Facebook this Morning:

Today, I offer a prayer and say thanks for my sisters: Sandy, Diane and Terri. Sandy, my hero. Sandy’s heart and amazing resilient spirit inspired me while she was alive and her Angelic presence guides me today as I lift every barrier in my life to live to my greatest potential. Sandy passed away on March 9, 1999. My heart still breaks for her but I’ve learned to challenge that energy into creating something positive with my life. My sister, Diane, used to buy my clothes with the money she made from her high school job. Diane always joked I was all brains and no common sense. lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Diane’s generosity and no bullshit approach to life gave me stability and grounding. I have more common sense now because I learned how to ground myself. Diane’s generosity and her strong protective nature of her family has been a benchmark in my life. Today is Diane’s Birthday. Sandy died on Diane’s birthday 17 years ago. My last sister, Terri. Let me tell you this… No one makes me laugh like Terri. Terri’s sense of humor and ability to be silly helped me through the last two weeks of Sandy ‘s life. Terri knows how to make laugh when I am in the middle of crying. When I tell Terri I love her, she always one ups me by saying, “I love you more”. It drives me crazy. lol. Terri is a survivor and I am proud of the way she has been challenging herself to grow. While we don’t say out until 3am drinking and talking about parking our horses outside of the Princeton Tavern (lol) anymore, I enjoy every moment I have with her. March 15th is Terri’s Birthday. Yes, today celebrate my three sisters, the women who shaped my world and made me the woman I am today. Our strong family bond is because of my mother. She kept us together. I am grateful to my Mother for keeping us together all of these years.

(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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