Just this morning, I skipped a day to get to where I stood at the steps of the Opera House. I had approached from Darling Harbour and stared into the glare of the sun, the sky comically blue and the ocean’s tide seemingly jealous of the clouds that gathered above us. Seemed, to me, the moment needed a touch of grey.
Must be getting early, clocks are running late.
I checked into my hotel room and put on some tunes. Jet-lagged and tethered in the thought that it had actually been four years, my mind wrapped around the night that we got the call. Alone on a bed, halfway around the world from that day, I felt ashamed that there had been other nights that I had woken to its ring. Nights when my eyes opened in the dark to trace the edges of where my old bedside table would have been.
Every silver linings got a touch of grey.
With the time that had passed, I could find comfort that her history continued to grow as my life changed. I thought about the good times – and there were plenty – but if I could get the day back, I would have ditched Sydney to spend it with Dayna. We’d drive through Malibu towards Zuma Beach, like we did when I was a kid, and over the music and the wind, I’d write down everything she had to say.
I drew the curtains to block the remnants of sun that remained. The International Date Line didn’t work both ways.
Oh, well, a touch of grey, kinda suits you anyway
I don’t necessarily miss the things my sister did, the antics her history is, on the surface, made of. I miss the things she was – her character. She had limitless humor, perseverance to squeeze life’s most bitter lemons, and a capacity to love that was indifferent to boundaries or time zones.
I will get by, I will survive.
On the fourth anniversary of her passing, I can’t help but miss my sister. Her passion for life makes me envy the risks she took to enjoy its journey. With some time, I have grown to accept that there is a silver lining, even if I happen to skip a day. I’ll always have our memories and Dayna’s lessons to guide me through the touches of grey.
Lyrics from Touch of Grey by Grateful Dead (In the Dark, Arista Records)
In Memory of My Sister Year One
In Memory of My Sister Year Two
In Memory of My Sister Year Three