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Kathy's Gift 12/1/90

The evening of December 1, 1990, changed my life forever. I approached the emergency ward at Massachusetts General Hospital. A feeling of terror coursed throughout my body. "Where is my sister?"

The following is not a blogg, but an essay that i created a year after my beloved sister died in a car accident.  It was written in 1991, so things have changed after i wrote this for a literature class at North Eastern University.  I did get and A for the paper SMILE.  Tomorrow is December 1st which is the anniversary of her death.  I wanted to honor her by telling the audience of this essay how precious life is.  'Tis the season to give presents.  Life is a present that should be cherished.  In memory of my best friend, sister and a person who was so full of life.  She has left me, but left me with hope and faith.

The evening of December 1, 1990, changed my life forever.  I approached the emergency ward at Massachusetts General Hospital.  A feeling of terror coursed throughout my body.  I entered the building and walked rapidly straight down the narrowing hallway.  I happened to come upon a brightly lit area where a nurse who was stationed behind a huge admittance desk.  The first question that I asked was "where is my sister?"  I assumed she knew who I was talking about, but she gave me a baffled look.  I then said, "Her name is Kathleen Gordon, well we call her Kathy".  The nurse glanced down at a piece of paper, looked back up at me with sympathetic eyes and asked, "Is she a blond female in her early 20's?"  I then jumped at the answer saying "Yes".  An overwhelming attack of nausea took hold of my body.  Feeling the need to hold onto something, like how you would feel on a cruise ship during a wicked storm.  Just then our eyes locked, which felt like forever.   My face flushed and I felt like I was having an out of body experience.  It seemed like an eternity before she directed me to a tiny, dreary, private waiting room.  Before I entered, two uniformed men with orange jumpsuits with their heads slumped in disappointment, brushed past me in the hallway.  I looked at them, then got a chill.  Later on I found out that they were the helicopter medics that tried to revive my sister.   As I sat down, my family began to arrive; dad, mom and my brother Howard.   We just sat quietly, not a word to each other; but our heads were spinning out of control with worry and questions.

At that moment, my mind was a jumble of memories of my sister Kathy.   I thought of all the special times we shared:  maturing to adult hood together, attending fun parties, socializing at our favorite sports bar, The Varsity Club and just chatting about sisterly things.  Only sisters can relate to this special bond.  It seemed like yesterday that we cruised to the Bahamas.    We danced on the hot deck to a reggae band with the magical sound of the steel drums, background sounds of fellow cheering vacationers.   We wore our bikinis with towels draped around out waste dancing like there is no tomorrow with one of those fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas on it.  The sun above us was built into a gorgeous robin colored blue sky - without a cloud invading it.  The aroma of Coppertone sun tanning lotion and Caribbean scents filled the ocean air.

I was brought out of my dreamy state by the doctor's arrival.  He was expressionless.   After scanning the clipboard he glanced back up at us and said, "We have a female that arrived from a terrible car accident, she was flown in by the medical helicopter without a pulse.  We tried to get her back, but unfortunately she died about an hour ago.  We would like one of you to identify the body". 

No feelings, just another body.  I was in my own world at that point.  The walls were caving in on me.  Only nine hours ago Kathy and I were giggling together and planning our day.  She decided to start early on her Christmas shopping with her friends and I was going on a job interview.   A thought occurred to me, she asked me to go and if I did; it could have been me in that room waiting to be identified.  At this point I wish it was I who died and not her so I could not feel this empty feeling of loss.  Worst yet is seeing how this upset my parents.  This is not how it's suppose to go; kids should not die before their parents - it's not making any sense to me.  Mom and dad had their child ripped right out of their arms, God why?  Was that the last time I was going to see her smiling face?  Did Kathy already take her last breath? Is it true or a bad dream?

I then bowed my head and said a prayer in silence for my sister.  I stood and almost fell over, my legs almost felt numb and shaky; a cold shower of ice fell over me as I witnessed an unforgettable scene, my father and brother walking back into the room, a sight the stung like a bee.  The evidence was there, their heads down and shoulders trembling; tears of sorrow fell down their face, it broke my heart in half.  A shrill came out of my voice, making a fist at the sky "God, why did you take her! She was my only sister!  Kathy was my best friend!"  At that moment, I slumped to my knees weeping with hopelessness.  A sharp frozen sword pierced my heart that day; a permanent scar.  I will never again be able to hug, hold or kiss her.

Kathy has left me, but she gave me the most precious gift.  I was receiving a second chance to fulfill my life:  setting new goals, learning form past mistakes, and to cherish the beautiful memories I shared with Kathy.  I spent most of my life thinking of only of me, spending money foolishly and taking my family and life for granted.  I now realize that a person can change their life for the better.  Today, I am living each day to the fullest and trying to be a happier me.  I cannot take back time, but only go forth with new goals and a new self image. 

Furthermore, I hope the audience of this essay will stop, think and learn from my tragic experience.  Anyone can be in this unwanted situation.  It happens every day to a loved one.    My suggestion is when you have a special sister, brother, father, mother, friend or even a pet; communicate freely with them, tell them you forgive them, love them, and cherish the relationship you share with them.   Right now you may say to yourself, Oh this will never happen to me.  You are wrong.  Death is a part of life.  Enjoy every second, minute, hour, day, month and year; each breath you take is one of the greatest treasures in life.  I am thankful for Kathy's gift of life.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ellen M. Gordon Ward December 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
In memory of my sister Kathy T. Gordon today....read this blogg in honor of a beautiful person <3 Thank you
Jacki Bates January 01, 2013 at 05:35 AM
I can't imagine your pain on that day and the days and years to follow. My sister and I share that special bond, too, and it's something I never take for granted. Thank you for sharing.
Ellen M. Gordon Ward January 01, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Thank you Jacki....for reading and getting the message PEACE

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