June 30th

Today would have been my older sister, Kathie’s, 60… something birthday. The number isn’t important, except that the number stopped last December. I thought about her this morning when I was getting in my walking. We were on a parallel course the last few years with a similar illness robbing both of us the use of our legs. I got treatment within the first few months of the illness taking root, she didn’t. The reasons she didn’t get treatment are pretty complicated, but I know one thing for certain. I had medical advocates who pushed for me when my condition went from being something possibly pinched-nerve-related to can’t-support-his-weight and that didn’t seem to be the case for her.

She should still be here. She was looking forward to the birth of her second grand-baby and we would have had to endure an endless stream of photos and stories about the newest little one had she lived to see the beginning of precious little Belle’s life. She was pretty much impossible with just one grand-baby, she would have been even crazier with two. Being on the East Coast and apart from the rest of the family, I get to imagine these things without having the others argue with me about this or that detail… We’re all pretty stubborn when it comes to our opinions. And Kats was the leader of the band who’s force of personality kept us all in check (even Matt).

It’s going to take me a good long time to deal with this. I’m not going to button it up with some passing notion about “Better Places” or the like. This is the tragedy that shouldn’t have happened, but did. We had a hell-of-a-lot more Bill Murray movies that we were supposed to watch together that I’m now going to have experience without her (she would have loved “The Grand Budapest Hotel”). Damn. I wish that I could wish her “happy birthday” and it not be just in my head.

1960s - bustillos brood from youngest to oldest (I don't know what I'm doing with my hands...).

1960s – bustillos brood from youngest to oldest (I don’t know what I’m doing with my hands…).

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