My oldest sister passed away some years back. While I was here in Bahrain of course. It was merely by chance that I even knew of her passing as she still lived in the town I grew up in...as well as one of my childhood friends. It was this friend who sent me an email full of condolences over the recent death of my sister...a death I had no idea about. Considering that my Mother had not called me herself to tell me my sister had passed...I assumed she was unaware of it as well.
You might wonder how it is my sister, her daughter, could pass away without either of us even knowing (along with my other sis and brother etc)...easy enough to explain...she disowned the lot of us some years before she died.
Me specifically....but everyone else by association.
Her name was Tammy Lynn and she was 5 years older than me. She was Harley Davidson girl..never wore a bra and rarely panties...and didnt care who knew it. Her house was kept shrouded with heavy curtains...her room was decorated in Harley Davidson items...and was kept dark with both its decor and by the windows being covered. She smoked pot excessively, drank alcohol daily and abused her kids hourly. Her favorite color was black...except when it came to people, then she was a pure racist. Ironic considering the rest of us females in the family have taken rather a shine to darker skinned men.
Tomorrow is her bday and she would be 46 years old. She died 5 years ago with only 2 of her 4 children around her as she had alienated the 2 older ones at that point. They would have nothing to do with her. I imagine it was only a matter of time before the younger ones came of age and headed for the horizon as well.
Her life from the moment of her birth, breach that nearly killed her as well as my Mother, was filled with pain and some kind of inner torment that she seemingly could never be free from. She was so full of anger and hate for things and people that she constantly drove those nearest to her away. Quite often they came back ...only to be driven away again at some point. Eventually even the most die hard of her friends eventually left her for good. Her demons were a busy lot.
I grew up with an older sis that blazed a trail of destruction where ever she went. She continually failed in school, caused so many troubles with teachers and other students that my father eventually pulled her out in the 8th grade. (she would get her GED years later). She became sexually active at the age of 15 and became pregnant almost immediately. She married (by force if I understand as my father threatened to kill the guy if she didnt) this much older boyfriend and set about destroying that relationship right from the start. As soon as she turned 18 she separated then divorced him but never let him forget what a dismal failure he was as a father to their two children.
The fact that she burned so many bridges before I even got to cross them meant most of the time there werent any left standing that I could cross. My parents forbid me dating, going to parties, joining clubs, working part time and even driving merely because my sister had caused such havoc in each of those activities long before I could even start on them. I had a dismal childhood for many reasons merely because I was a middle child...and second in line after a hell raiser.
She constantly wreaked havoc in my life since I was old enough to understand her malicious streak. She would constantly break things, steal things, fail to do chores etc....and blame it on me. She would steal any boy that ever showed a glimmer of interest in me (and believe me their werent many...my sister was considered a beauty...I was a tomboy with red hair and freckles...no contest) then throw them away once they had forgotten they even liked me. She stabbed me in the back so many times Im surprised I dont spurt water when I drink...I have lost count of the many times she had me crying over her failure to see that I loved her...but she would throw it back in my face...again and again....as she did with all of us...her family.
My Mother and her were so much alike in many ways it was scary. If you pointed this out to either of them they got upset and declared themselves NOTHING like the other. I do believe it was why they clashed so often...it was like looking in the mirror and seeing the worst of yourself manifested. However, my Mother had a sweeter side that dominated her personality...my sister was rarely sweet and never willingly showed emotion unless is was anger and hate.
The interesting thing between the two of us is that we were raised in the same house...by the same parents. We suffered the same (all though my mother claims I suffered more at my fathers hands simply because my sister escaped at 15...that left only me to bear the brunt)...and yet we turned out as different as night and day. People were, and still are, surprised to learn that we were sisters. We looked nothing alike. Had extremely opposite personalities and characteristics...and generally viewed the world from different colored lenses....but she was my sister and I loved her despite her constant attack at my heart strings...trying to cut them once and for all...why...I dont know....I imagine I will never know.
When I got the email that my sister had died (btw NEVER send such heart stopping soul crushing news via email...just so you know) and realized that I would have to tell my Mother...it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. To pick up the phone and call Mom and tell her that not only had one of her children passed away....but it was her most difficult child...the one she cried over the most...the one she suffered from the most...the one she loved but could never find a stable relationship with not based on anger and hate...and now never would.
As I paused to gather my strength while my Mother waited patiently for me to tell her the "bad news"...I imagined what her first words would be once I had spoken.
"Mom...I dont know how to tell you this. Its so hard for me to do," I breathed out shuddering. She told me just to tell her...it was the only way to do it.
I took a deep breath and forced out the words...."Mom, Tammy passed away...she's dead."
For a moment I heard nothing...knowing my Mothers health problems etc I feared the worst...but was completely shocked when Mom spoke...for she said something that was nothing like what I expected...
"Tammy ...Tammy...you can finally rest now, Your demons are gone," she whispered out across the phone lines...more to herself...possibly forgetting I was there for a moment.
We realized from the obit in the papers that Tammy's funeral was only 2 days away...so my Mom and younger sis had to act fast and prepare to go attend it...even though they hadnt been informed by my sis's current husband or even any of her children....my Mom was going and that was that. Any broken relationship they may have had in life...came to an end upon death...her death.
The hardest thing about my sister's death, besides realizing she and I could never repair what had been broken now...was the fact that I had to suffer my grief alone. My husband, being the ass that he was, shouted at me for crying for her...claiming that as Muslims we werent allowed to feel sorrow over kafirs deaths...and that considering the life she lead she was most likely in Hell already!!!
He was such a bastard in those broken hearted days of mine. Of course I didnt believe him but it tore me up anyways to hear such heartless words coming from him. He wouldnt even hug me or console me in anyway...and so I suffered...quietly and alone. It was torture and I dont wish that sort of pain on anyone.
I have two boxes of pics of my life and all those who have been in it. One box is with me and the other happens to be with my daughter in Texas (she will be bringing it back to me next week...at least she better)...so I searched the box I had looking for a pic of my sis to put here...but there was only one...and its not a very flattering one at that...so I wont put it. Just so you get a picture of her...when she was young people likened her to a Tatum Oneal/Sally Fields type girl. She had the two dimples and strategically placed birth mark as well with perfectly flared hair and a white flashy smile...when she chose to use it.
She had a hard life with many abusive men scattered throughout. She suffered a severe car accident in which both her legs, among other things, were broken and she had a long haul recovery. She suffered heart problems later on which apparently eventually put her in a wheel chair in her late 30's...none of this we knew as she wouldnt allow anyone to tell us. Im not sure why her husband or children...or even any of the few friends she had...would keep such secrets for her. Some secrets just shouldnt be kept...my Mom could have been there with her...taking care of her....and basically she couldnt run away as she was prone to doing. They would have had to face each other whether she liked it or not...which is maybe why she didnt want Mom to know.
Anyhow, despite all the pain and heartbreak my sister created in our lives...we miss her terribly. Those who believe in God insist that a sinful soul as hers would find God hard pressed in allowing her access to Heaven and all its delights...I, for one, believe God forgives those with mental illness as unable to control their actions etc. She obviously suffered from some form of mental illness...whether it be bi-polar...depression...whatever.
She was a troubled soul that could never find peace in life...I hope she found peace in death.
Happy birthday sis...I miss you.