Its Day 20 of the 30 day challenge and I wasn’t going to write another blog post until tomorrow but William is at Lululemon teaching a class and I decided to stay home and practice my own practice today. I’m a bit sore from yesterdays practice with Adam. I don’t feel like a Ninja trained by a ballerina today. Side note: Adam has a martial arts background and whenever he comes up in conversation I say in my best South African accent…Put your foot down like a ninja. William will respond in like with…trained by a ballerina. Adam loves his Ninja references in class in order to express his point of silence, grace and precision in class (That’s my interpretation of what he is doing, he didn’t say that to me). After a tough workout and a day of trying to put together my new man-cave since we just moved to a new house in Mountain View to be closer to the studio, I’m a bit sore and tired. I decide a long session of ball rolling, stretching and light yoga is what I need.
I’m doing my thing and I am in down dog bicycling my heels trying to stretch out my calves and I am thinking to myself, “what day is today?” I realize that today is May 20, 2012. It’s my sister Darlene’s birthday; she would have been 45 today. I immediately got up from my practice and came to the computer to write down my thoughts. I hadn’t remembered that her birthday was coming up and I was dumbfounded with the idea that it hadn’t been on my mind like it had in recent years. Right after she passed I was keenly aware of the milestones like her birthday, the day she passed and her son’s birthday. It was a fresh wound and reminder that she was no longer with us.
My sister was a bit of a hot mess and was never quite able to get it together in life. Never quite able to get over the hardships that she had been through in her childhood she bounced around from job to job and from different people’s homes that helped her along the way. She was overweight and didn’t take very good care of herself. She would be in and out of the hospital with various illnesses that plagued her because of the hard road miles that she was putting on the car. I had become numb in a way to the drama that surrounded her and I would tell her on the rare occasions that I saw her in the later stages of her life that she was never going to live with me because she would ruin it. I loved her and she loved me but there was no amount that I could give her in order for her to love herself and make the necessary changes in order for her to grow and prosper. Even to the point where she was a bit of a transient for a part of her life. It’s a hard decision to come to about someone, especially someone that you love.
I remember my mother called my on Wednesday October 8, 2008 and told me that my sister was in hospital. I asked her, “is it serious?” My sister was always in and out of the hospital. My mom said she didn’t know and I told her that I would call her. We finished our conversation and I thought to myself, “I’ll call her tomorrow.” Thursday came and went and I still didn’t feel like dealing with it. I got the call at 5 in the morning on Friday October 10, 2008 from my father telling me that she had passed in the night. William and my Aunt Dena (who was living with us at the time) stood in the dining room while I was in shock as I tried to gather myself together to go pick up my parents and take them to go claim the body. I don’t remember the ride to my parents house (I drove FYI….horrible decision making in the moment). I don’t remember the drive to the hospital with my parents. All I remember is walking into the hospital and telling the check in desk that my sister had passed away and I was here to see her. I walked in front of my parents and did all of the talking to everyone that was trying to help us. Finally we got to the floor where her room was. They hadn’t moved her yet and the lady told me the room number and that it was at the end of the hall.
It was a long walk down the hall to the room and it was like in a movie as I led my parents to it. The door was facing the hall at the end and as I moved toward it, it started to move toward me like tunnel vision. As I got closer and closer I began to say, “Oh shit” over and over and louder and louder until I walked in the room and squatted down against the wall and wailed uncontrollably. The curtain was closed and I couldn’t see the body. It took me a while to get myself under control and move around the curtain to look at her. I grieved with my parents for what seemed like a very long time in private. I was devastated. I hadn’t called; I hadn’t done my part as the only man in her life to make sure that she was okay.
It took me years to come to an understanding of what I did right and what I could have done better. I was keenly aware of all the milestones of her life after her passing. This is why it is important that I hadn’t dwelled on the sorrow before today. Time has healed a multitude of wounds in this area for me. Today I am able to honor my sister’s memory with not just the truth about what her life was but remember her laughter, her sense of humor, the silly movie quotes that constantly came out of her mouth. I am comforted in the fact that she left this world with the gift of her son who’s future is bright and is loved and taken care of by his father and step-mother.
Time heals all wounds, even the ones that are devastating. I’m so happy that I took time for myself today to listen to what my body needed. Instead of distracting myself with a bunch of other people, I quieted my mind and listened to what I needed to hear. My sister’s memory visited me today and it hurt a little less and I am able to acknowledge the joy it was to be her brother.
I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. Thank you for taking time out of your day to listen to me share about the life and passing of my sister Darlene Linda Goodnow. I will see you all in the studio on Monday.