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Posts Tagged ‘Judy’

Catch-22

  For the three of you that follow my blog, you may realize what today is.  The other five will have no idea.  So, today’s title: Catch-22.  Another of my multiple meaning titles.  Today is my own personal Catch-22.  It was 22 years ago today that my sister passed away from Cystic Fibrosis.  A chronic illness and character defining trait that we both share.

  As you may know, Catch-22 is a paradox made popular by the book and movie of the same name.  Basically a Catch-22 is a no win situation.  You may ask how that applies to the death of my sister.  Well, I’ve been thinking about it since hearing one of her favorite songs this morning (Helpless Hoping by Crosby, Stills, and Nash).  It just came to me tonight, after thinking of a conversation I had earlier today.

  I like to say that this is not a sad day for me, and about 95% of me means it.  I’m glad that my sister is no longer in pain.  I know very well the last few years of her life were miserable.  She was on constant oxygen and tied to a tank by a 100′ canula.  As she said it, she had only one speed, slow.  And, I distinctly remember her coughing so hard, in a vain attempt to save her own life, that she would break blood vessels in her lungs.  It didn’t worry her, but the amount of blood I saw reminds me of what can happen.

  At the same time, the other 5% knows that I’m just lying to myself and that I miss my sister terribly.  Anyone who has lost a loved one can understand part of the loss.  The rest of it comes from the idea that we did share this illness and that it really does define the character of those it touches.

  I have a very strong memory from about 10 years ago, maybe even less.  Kristen and I had my parents over for dinner at our previous house.  I’m not sure if Michael was born yet and he’s 8 now, so I think it was about 10 years ago.  Anyway, we were having coffee and dessert after dinner and somehow we started talking about Judy.  After a few minutes of talking a notice a tear in my mom’s eye.  Now, that’s natural, a mother missing her daughter.  But then she says “Oh, you big softy!” while looking in my dad’s direction.  Turns out that he’s the one that started crying first, not mom.  My mother is a rock and I’ve very rarely seen her cry.  But, I’ve seen it.  My father, until that point, had never cried in front of me.  Not that he was too much of a man to do it, or anything like that.  He’d just never had that amount of pain occur in front of me.  I’m sure he’d cried many times before that with regards to losing his daughter.

  So, there it is, my Catch-22.  I’m crazy to say that I’m glad Judy is gone.  But, I’m so very happy she’s no longer in that constant pain.  I would be crazy to wish her back into that miserable existance just because I’m selfish.  I’m miss my sister, and it is a sad day, no matter what the 95% of me says.

P.S. – Next March 5th will be a happy post, in keeping with tradition!

P.P.S – Here’s a picture of me and Judy that was taken for a national CFF campaign.  They never used it, but I love the picture.  (And I HATE my picture).

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