I am going to write about a different kind of loss today. It’s not the kind of loss you see at the scale, but the kind of loss you feel in your heart.
Yesterday, January 31, I lost my big sis, Donna, to breast cancer. She was 58 years old. She is the oldest sibling in my family and I am the baby. There are seven of us total and although we are “happy” she is no longer suffering, we are saddened and hurt that she is no longer with us. She is gone. At least her body is gone. But her soul, her spirit still lives on. She will forever hold a dear, dear place in my heart.
My big sis, whom I have idolized since I was little, fought the battle for nine years. She was diagnosed right before her 50th birthday and let me tell you, I will never forget that phone call. It was like a knife was pushed right inside my heart and turned and twisted until I couldn’t feel it anymore. Donna, my big sis, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not that I wish it upon anyone, because I DON’T, but why her? Well, it’s because Donna could take it. Donna was tough, strong, resilient and a fighter. She fought long and hard against this disease that eventually ended up taking over her body. But it didn’t take her soul. She never felt sorry for herself. She always saw the good in everything. She grabbed the bulls by the horn and gave cancer a fight like it has probably never seen.
Unfortunately, however, it – the God awful disease called cancer – won the battle. It took my sister. It took one of my best friends. It took my mentor. My idol. My hero.
When someone loses a loved one, there is this pit that hangs out in your stomach. Sometimes, it needs to be fed and sometimes, you want to feed it the stuff you THINK is going to make it go away. It doesn’t. It’s there. And I think it will be for awhile. But I know that I need to keep going. I need to forge ahead. I need to make the right decisions when it comes to my healthy living journey. Donna would want me to.
When I received the phone call that my big sis, my Donna, had passed, it was like that knife was there again, twisting and turning. Although we were “prepared” for her death, prepared to get that phone call, it still hurt. It still cut like a knife into my heart.
I know the healing process will begin soon, but I also know that it will take a long time. A long, long time. As I move forward without her, without my “big sis,” I will take all the wonderful memories, the cherished times we spent together and hold them close to my heart. I will think of her often and I will smile. Smile at the time – albeit too short – that we had together. I love ya, big sis. Rest in peace.