On the second lane from the left, there is a huge pothole. I drive by it almost every day. I know exactly where it is and I can always feel it coming. Sometimes, I make sure to be in a different lane.
I hate to call it an anniversary, but that’s what it is. Three years is just easier to say than one-thousand-ninety-five days, so I suppose that’s why we think of it in that way. Whatever we call it, I think about my sister Dayna and remember the loss we suffered that day.
I’d like to say it has become easier and I have come to terms with the accident. But I can’t. There have been moments, during those one-thousand-ninety-five days, when no part of me could contemplate, let alone accept, that my sister was gone.
Each year, on the eve of this day, I pour a glass of wine and read Grateful Dead lyrics. We listened to a lot of music when we were young, and I will always remember the happiness I felt when we were together. I suppose lyrics help me remember the way we used to sing.
She’d pick us up from school and we’d yell at the top of our lungs:
When the shadows grow, it’ll do you fine
When the cold winds blow, it’ll ease your mind
The shape it takes could be yours to choose
What you may win, what you may lose*
I have come to realize that on the day we lost my sister, the music remained but the lyrics changed. Her laugh, free spirit, and thirst for life turned simple words into melodies. On the anniversary of her accident, I can’t help but feel the absence in my life without her. I read lyrics and listen to songs, but the music just doesn’t feel the same.
Truth is, on most nights, I stay in the second lane to the left. By the time I get to Carson Ave, traffic slows me down for just long enough to turn up the radio and enjoy her company. I feel the pothole pass, and know that her spirit is near to me. I turn up the radio again, hit the gas, and smile, knowing that time may have passed but between the lyrics it’s the memories of my sister that now makes the melodies.
In Memory of My Sister Year One
In Memory of My Sister Year Two
*Grateful Dead, “Till The Morning Comes” (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia).