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Monday, November 14, 2005

Almost A Memory

She was my first friend. She was my first enemy. She was the first person to punch me square in the nose and also the last. She taught me bribery, blackmail, hate, selfishness and later, much later, she taught me love and selflessness.

She gave me someone to tattle on daily. She taught me that chewing on Barbie's toes was gooey chewy fun. She gave the hardest Charlie horses my legs ever felt. She would pin me down and dangle loogies in my face, sucking them back in, just inches from my face. Sometimes, she didn't suck them back in time. She used to punch my favorite teddy bear's face in and say, "You're next!" Before she gave me her hand-me-down clothes, she always reminded me, she farted in them first.

Saturday afternoon all of that stuff flashed before my mind. My sister Angie was taking her kids to their father's house. A car in the other lane, swerved to avoid a piece of metal in the road. Driving 70 miles an hour on the highway, his car spun around and rammed into her car, sending it into a concrete divider wall. She wasn't wearing a seat belt.

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She called our mom before the ambulance came, crying, screaming, absolutely terrified. She couldn't move and she didn't know where the kids were. My mother could hear both of the kids crying. She tried calming Angie down. It was no use. The paramedics came. Angie hung up.

The fear in Mom's voice rang in my ears as a grueling half of an hour passed before we heard from anyone about hers and the kids' conditions. I thought about the call I received when our sister Lucy died at the age of 39. I thought about the death of our other sister, Angie's twin, Ellen. I yelled at our dead father and told him he can't have her. Not now.

Initial reports were in and there were no life threatening injuries sustained. They were headed into hours of testing to look them over carefully.

Just last week Angie's boyfriend and his daughter were in an accident. It makes you stop and think, what the hell is going on and when the fuck is our family going to catch a break?

Hours later, we finally caught a break. Angie and the kids were released from the hospital. My niece has a fractured leg. My nephew has an abrasion on his neck from the seatbelt. The force of the airbag smashed the shit out of Angie's face. The swelling and bruising change hour by hour. She is in a lot of pain.

I still have no idea what happened to the guy who hit them. He was driving his mother's car on a suspended license and was also taken away by ambulance.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that they are still with us. There just aren't words for that feeling. All I know for sure is, I'm looking forward to building many more years of memories with my sister.