Friday, July 30, 2010

sister joyce

In my family we die too young. We barely make sixty, if that. It is usually because we drink.

There are certain people who have geographic weight. I can't explain this. Joyce lived in Central Point and now she is gone. It is hard to know why I would go back there now. She tethered our family for over forty years, a family that was fractured by her presence. She came to stay when I was thirteen and we were never the same. She is not to blame for our undoing, that would not be fair or true, but sins and decisions being what they are, we were changed by those things.

I drove around Central Point and Medford today as if in a dream, lost in time, memories so dense I had to brush them from my vision, thick as cobwebs, driving to and from the hospital as she died. I had to come back to say goodbye, to thank her for taking care of me in the years before I decided to save my life -- to let my life be saved by the outstretched hands of others, hands she would not hold onto. Could not.

I just wanted to keep standing in her house among her children and her belongings, little things we had gathered at yard sales, had packed and repacked, moving to house after house: gnomes with green hats, red spatterware spoons, fiestaware, small oval rag rugs, a glass scottie dog, a sock monkey, a framed picture of Christ in Gethsemane, endless earrings and candles and fifteen tiny bags of weed here and there, forgotten in the clutter of life's ending. As long as I stayed in the house, it wasn't real.

But I am home now, and she is gone, my sister -in law and out,-my friend of so many many years. I miss her already. Rest in Peace.


Anonymous said...


asha said...

So sorry for your loss.