As I mentioned before, my older sis was a hell raiser intent on leaving nothing standing once she had "left the building"...smoking embers and shocked faces were all that could be seen after a visit from her.
She said what she wanted to say, to anyone, including our Mother...and didnt care what happened after that. What strings she cut...what hearts she broke mattered not at all.
Throughout my entire life I knew Tammy as a consummate liar. I guess she would be considered a pathological liar considering that is someone who has an overwhelming urge to lie...even when there is no need too. We generally lie to either not hurt someones feelings or to cover up some wrong that we did...she lied "just because"...without cause without reason. I have forgotten how many times I stood there while she told a story of some event in our lives...most often an event that happened to ME...and she would not only make herself the "hero, victim, victor" whatever...she would exaggerate until the story was unrecognizable. She did that since we were very young. You could never trust what came out of her mouth...all that you could trust was that it was probably not the truth.
That was something that held true for ALL of her life...at least the part of her life I was a part of.
She made it a habit of acquiring things that were not necessarily hers...but in which the real owner should have taken better care of if he/she didnt want to lose that item...obviously they didnt deserve it since they left said item where it was easily obtained by an innocent passerby...whatever. She bragged about stealing from stores etc...quite often while she was in the store. Loudly proclaiming about the time she took such and such right under their noses...and they were all so stupid they didnt even know. Nobody ever challenged her about these loud rants...Im not sure why. Maybe they figured she was a drunk red neck and best to ignore her....if only.
While I worked at Kmart for a spell I happened to know that her and her little gang of pot heads made it a habit to steal from Kmart whenever they could...I asked her please to not at least do it while I was at work...putting me and my job at risk. She never listened of course and I was eventually forced to leave that job...circumstances of which would make another post by itself. (will think about that)
Her house was constantly over run with pot smoking, beer drinking, half naked women or lecherous men who eyed her little girls more than once. Her daughters claimed numerous times that this or that man touched them or opened the bathroom door while they were in there etc...but she never believed them...or called them sluts out to "take her man". Eventually the older one left...never to return. She lived in the same town up until her mother died...married even...but never spoke to her again. The younger daughter and littlest son was still there at the time of her death. Her older boy was long gone by that time...suffering his own mental problems brought about from his crazy abused childhood.
Her house was a cave of darkness in which Harley Davidson was the decor of choice. No matter how bright the day was outside her house was kept in perpetual twilight. Always requiring lights to be on if you wanted to see what you were doing. Her bedroom itself was a shrine to all things HD and black with bits of red were the only colors allowed. Even her clothes were basic black (HD logos everywhere), any color was rarely ever to be seen .
The reason I repeated all of this is to remind you of what I knew of MY sister....the one I grew up with...the one I despaired of...the one that pushed me away...only to draw me back when and if she needed me. The one that alienated everyone and everything around her...including her own children. The one that only seemed to hate, scream, and lie her way through life.
So my Mother rushes to Wyoming to attend her funeral with my little sis. She arrives the day of and has to hunt for the new address as my sis had moved several times around town through the years. Imagine Moms surprise to pull up into a driveway of a brand new double wide trailer. My sis had only ever lived in dumps for most of her adult life.
When they knocked on the door and it was answered by a young teenager that they instantly recognized but of who nearly broke my Mothers heart all over again for it was my youngest niece...my sis's youngest daughter...who looked exactly like my sister did at her age. My Mom hadnt seen her since she was a little girl. My niece did not seem happy to see her Grandmother all though in the past she had been a favorite to spend the night with her.
Everyone entered the house and my Mother looked around wondering if she was actually in the right house. This house was bright and breezy. Pretty decor and flowers etc were in abundance. It was pristine in appearance and not a single Harley Davidson icon could be seen anywhere...not even the color black.
Mother asked permission to look around and the new husband (of whom she had heard of but never met) showed her the house. On the walls were pics of all of us...my sis had never kept pics on her walls ever except of her kids when they were born. Mom was especially surprised to see a pic of me considering I had been "disowned" several years previously. A walk down the hall and the kids rooms had nice bedroom sets and toys...something unheard of in their younger days. Mostly castoffs and broken things were all they had to play with as my sis couldnt be bothered to buy them things...they usually ended up with things that came by way of stealing.
At the back of the house was Tammy's room. Here it was still pure Tammy. Windows were black as usual...heavily curtained and enforcing the cave like feel of the place. The walls and every surface had some sort of HD item as well as pot symbols and skulls etc. The rest of the house was a study in opposites...but here in her room the old Tammy shone through.
My Mother and younger sis just kept staring at each other with similar thoughts running through their heads...what the heck was going on?
Later that day when attending the funeral my Mother was prepared to see the usual gathering of pot heads and thieves giving their final farewells to a "gang member"....so imagine her surprise when people she didnt recognize stood up and talked about a woman who was "honest and giving"....who "told the truth no matter what"...who would "do anything for anyone"....and who "made their lives so much better for having known her".
My Mother and sis were left with their mouths literally hanging open...who the HELL was this person everyone was talking about? No way could this be the same Tammy we all "knew and loved"....something had to be wrong cause this wasnt making any sense.
After the funeral Mom had a chance to speak with some of these strangers and they all had similar stories to tell...my sis had helped them either emotionally (listening and advising on problems), financially (loaning money then not accepting it back) and just being a friend.
You would have thought this would have made my Mom happy to know that Tammy had apparently made peace with herself after all these years and finally learned to reach out to people...but in fact my Mother was furious. She was so incredibly angry she felt absolutely horrified to be at my sisters funeral with such bitterness and anger in her heart...but really...WHO WAS THIS PERSON THEY WERE ADMIRING AND CRYING OVER?!!!
My Mom felt cheated...she felt humiliated...she felt as if my sister had pulled one last "fast one" on all of us...and especially her. My sister obviously had changed in some ways...how or why we will never know....but no matter how much she had changed...she still couldnt reach out to her own Mother to try and bridge the gap that had been built. My Mother was left with the memory of a rebellious child that could never be hugged...shown care for...or even loved...without it being thrown back in our faces.
Who was this lady everyone knew and loved...and missed...who had touched them in some way...a positive way....but of whom we knew nothing about...had never got to know...and now never would?
To this day my Mother talks about that funeral and all the stories people were telling about my sister...stories that would have been impossible to believe if she hadnt heard them with her own ears...but one thing held true....everyone there considered us...her family....as her enemies. She never spoke of us...except to bad talk us or accuse us of cheating her in some way.
I will never understand my sister...the person she was, the one we knew...or the one she became that everyone else knew but not us.
I miss her either way....