My Sister Lisa

21 Apr

For those of you that are following my blog, you know this is a site I started with recipes and I plan to mix it up a bit in the near future. So, this post today, is a lot different! No cute anecdotal remarks about cooking or how cold & miserable it is here in Iowa right now. Those thing will be posted another day, perhaps tomorrow. But today, is about my beloved sister, Lisa. Lisa and I were born 25 months apart and grew up in Tampa florida. In my memory, I can’t recall seeing two sisters as close as us. Oh, I am sure there are very close sisterhoods, but Lisa and I were just great together. I got married when Lisa was 16. She was so sad when I left home. I received daily letters from her; she couldn’t spell and it took me quite sometime to decipher them! It was well worth it in the end.I missed her as much as she missed me too.  As my new station in life as a newlywed took my husband  and I on our own adventures, Lisa managed to find a way to do just fine without me. Albeit, I wanted her to miss me! Silly girl I was! After my husband served in the U. S. Navy in California and Great Lakes Illinois, we made our way back home to the comfort of family. Lisa came right along with me too! I would have to say, that we have only been apart maybe 10 years of our lives. And I will be 50 in August!!! I think I should mention that I also have two other sisters. I was 11 when Robin was born and 16 when the last girl ( of 4, my poor father!), Lindsay was born. I didn’t really spend many of Robin and Lindsay’s formative years with them. They were, and are, my little sisters. But there is a difference between them an I of epic proportions.Lisa is the sister that I had shared childhood memories with!In the summer of 2010, I moved to Bode Iowa. Lisa had to remain in Florida. Our parents bought all of their girls homes. What a great feeling to be mortgage free!! As soon as Lisa was able she made her way up here in July 2011. I was so happy to have my best friend here, finally!!! Bode is like Mayberry RFD……what a culture shock! Vastly different from Central Florida…..I love it here. I am not loving it quite as much as I once did, though.

lisa54This is Lisa, by the way!!

My best friend and little sister, died suddenly on October 21, 2012. Six months ago, today! My grief is all-consuming and quite overwhelming. I had to take care of Lisa’s end of life needs as our parents were unable to breathe, let alone make funeral arrangements! I was with Lisa as she transitioned from this Earthly place to the next and that was the hardest thing I have ever done!! I DO NOT want ANYONE with me! Period. At least not family. I have been told by numerous doctors and councilors, that I gave Lisa the most precious gift by being with her. I have my doubts.

Six months……six months……it has been six months today that she died! I can’t even accept that I typed that! My life is so empty without her. Lisa was the “ying to my yang”, she evened me out!  I cry everyday and beg for her to show me a sign from the great beyond……no clear cut message so far! My grief shows no sign of slowing.  So, what is this life for? Lisa was unafraid to die, she told me so. I, on the other hand, just wasn’t ready to be without her. And I still am not. The hours have grown into days and the days into weeks. Weeks are now months and I still feel the same gnawing ache. What is my “new normal”? A life without my sister? I know that I will continue on, I must! I have a husband and two children that count on me, but I am broken.

I wanted to write this all down, thinking it may help. It didn’t! As I leave to go to the cemetery, I whisper ever so softly…..” I Love You Lisa and I ALWAYS will remain your Big Sissy, Kim.”


8 Responses to “My Sister Lisa”

  1. Chef Randall April 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    If I can, I wish to say sorry for your loss Kim. It is sad to loose a loved one. It has happened to me before. But you did say you were there when she passed from the earthly life to the next. So if you believe she is in another place, then she is still around. Not just like if she was here as before.

    See it like the rays of sun or the wind and even electricity. They are always around you and they do good for you, even though you can’t see them. But you do feel the force of them. Most of the time we don’t see a suns rays, but we are warmed by its heat. We don’t see the electricity, but we do have a stove to cook with (if electrical) air-conditioning to cool us in summer or to run our heaters. Even light at night. The wind is there you feel it force, soft or strong.

    I am not trying to compare your beloved sister to those things of nature. Nothing can compare with a loved one here in the flesh alive. But if you truly believe she is somewhere else, focus your time on trying to fell her force… like you do with the wind, sun rays and electricity.

    As for broken..Kim when you break an arm, do you leave it like that? If your car, your only transportation to work or to the market were broken, would you leave it like that? Or as you said the miserable weather, you are having right now in Iowa..if your heating system was broken and could not warm your home..would you leave it like that? Anything broken Kim can be fixed. I think you told me you were a RN. When a woman has a cesarean (my wife had two),does the scare go away? My wife had our older boy 21 years ago. She doesn’t always look at the scare or feel it. But she remembers why it is there. I can’t even touch it, though it has 21 years healed over.

    It will pass Kim. I will be 50 in September and when my grandfather died, I was 30 years old. He was my favorite grandpa. I mourned for 2 years. Every October 23rd….I always felt I would see him. By the 3rd year I had a dream one night. I was at his grave and I turned and looked and seen a man coming up over a hill. It was him, he asked me Randy while do still cry? I am gone now. There is nothing more you can do for me. They need you, stop coming here, were there is nothing for you. When I awoke, I didn’t know what to think. But I did get over it and I went on. I had my oldest boy at the time, only 2.3 years old when grandpa died and William was 4 years old when I had that dream. The same year 1996 my wife was pregnant with our second son.

    My grandpa was right, if that was him in my dream, my little family needed me and I needed them. I could no longer do anything for my grandpa.

    You say your two children and husband need you. Are they truly the only ones in need? Don’t you need them as well? Even that broken bone, doesn’t really heal back like it was before. Doesn’t new cartilage fell in the space? I have heard even that break becomes stronger and can never break there again. Let your family be that cartilage. They will fill in the space to help you heal.

    I am not trying to be little your sorrow Kim. If I have please forgive me. I was trying only to find some words that could help with your pain.


    • kimsantilli April 24, 2013 at 1:58 am #

      I am sorry it took me awhile to reply to your very kind comment about my sister Lisa. I took your words as kindness! It is very difficult to know exactly what to say to someone who is grieving. People that know me, here in my small town, seem to avoid me at times. I am very involved in our community and I have to remember that they also knew Lisa and perhaps don’t know what to say. My parents and other sisters experience the same feeling. I shall prevail, Lisa would have it no other way!! It is just going to take time and love!!
      Thank you again Randall.

      • Chef Randall April 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

        Your welcome Kim.

        As for your friend’s and neighbors or towns people, they are not ignoring you on purpose. As you said they are afraid to say the wrong thing. But don’t ignore them…still approach them and show them you need their friendship still. Show them we are all in the same boat. We all lose loved ones and family or not..we need each other to make it through!! 🙂


  2. Melisa R April 22, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Wow. Simply, just wow. I’m the youngest of 4, as well and I’m also very close to my sister. I am sorry for your loss. I wish I had more to say, I am just so overwhelmed with thoughts of what you might be going through. I could not even begin to comprehend what it could be like. I wish for not only your continued strength but also, that the memories of your sister remain with you forever. Sisters are wonderful. My older sister is my best friend. I have not one memory without her. Lisa was beautiful. I bet she was amazing.

    • kimsantilli April 24, 2013 at 2:04 am #

      Thank you for caring honey! Spend as much time as you can with your sisters. Time is a precious gift. Relish it…..for we never know when things can happen. I never thought that Lisa would pass away so young, but she did. Take care sweetie! And, thank you again for your sweet words.
      P.S. Lisa was AMAZING!!!!!

  3. Cindy Pyburn May 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Kim, your love for Lisa, your precious sister, is evident. This is a lovely tribute. I pray that time dulls the ache of losing her and leaves you with nothing but the sweetest memories.

    • kimsantilli May 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      I know that you can relate to the loss of a sibling. Lisa & I were very close as children (I am sure you recall that!) and our bond only became stronger as we became adults. The post about her didn’t fully decribe our relationship….anything else would have been far to personal. Needless to say, I am forever changed and I am still trying to find some normalcy. My parents are doing as well as one can expect (not that great), but we are trying to keep on living as Lisa would want us to. It seems that I miss her more with each passing day. I think the reality of her death has finally set in, even though 6 months has passed. Sometimes, time does not heal all wounds…..we just learn to not “pick the scab” that covers the wound and try to move forward. I wish you the best and pray you are in good health. Please tell Aunt Imogene hello from me and let her know I think of her often. Check back on my blog soon for more recipes.

      Love You,
      Cousin Kim


  1. My Sister Lisa | Treasured Recipies...... - April 21, 2013

    […] My Sister Lisa. […]

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