It was exactly a year ago that my sister, Shelly, left my home with her two boys from her Spring Break vacation with her boys. The last few months she was alive, all she wanted to do was spend as much quality time as she could with her boys. She worked the night shift with the United States Postal Service for several years before landing a position with the Postal Service where she could work during the daytime.
The morning she left, I was sad to see her go. I didn’t want to see her leave, but all vacations must come to an end. That week, we had spent most of our days staying up late and talking, letting our boys play together, watching movies, and having fun at the go-cart races. We probably ate too much fast food and stayed up too late, but it didn’t matter because we were spending time together.
I had made up a room for her and her boys to be a sort of practice for when she moved down here after school was out for her oldest. Spring Break was not only a chance for us to spend quality time together, but it was also a time for us to test the living arrangements and to look for employment and housing opportunities for her. We spent several hours driving around town searching for apartments and rentals. I was so upbeat about her moving to Texas and being close to me and my boys.
It seemed like most of that week it was raining. I had landed a temporary job the month before as a mail room clerk and I hated that I couldn’t be home during the day to spend time with her, but I was glad she was at my home watching and guiding my children while I worked. She was such a great mom. However, something didn’t feel right–I felt like I needed to be home with Shelly and spending time with her rather than working. So the second day she was here, I came home during my lunch break and never returned to work. I quit. Quitting felt rather illogical at first, but now that I look back on it, I realize that I was being moved by what I believe is God to quit and spend that time with Shelly and her boys.
Oh how I am glad I listened to that prompting! It would be just six weeks later that Shelly would be taken from this world to live in Heaven. Six weeks.
I’ve thought about Shelly all week this week. I’ve thought about her laughter, her smile, her eyes, her intelligence and her thoughtfulness. Shelly was my big sister and I looked up to her in everything. She was nonjudgmental of me and she was a soft place to fall when I needed her. We spoke nearly everyday and shared all of our secrets together. She listened to me and I listened to her. We did not judge each other and we always endeavored to lift each other up.
Shelly was everything to me and I am missing her now.