Today is my 5 year anniversary of the ones I’ve lost. Considering the purpose of this blog, I felt it appropriate to write a post.
It’s been an interesting day. I feel the pressure of the world to move on.
5 years ago today, my sisters were gunned down in front of my eyes in a church parking lot.
Today, I sat in the same church and was struck by how much changes in 5 years.
I was struck by how much my sisters have changed me. I wouldn’t say that I’m carrying out their dreams for them. But I do carry a piece of them inside of me, and they inspire me every day. As I wrote about in my last post, my twin sister Stephanie inspires me to fight against racism. My sister Rachel inspires me to stand up for myself, that I’m worth it, that it’s okay to be me. I can’t help but feel grateful today that they were in my life. Even though I got them for only a short time (16 and 18 years), they taught me such a great deal.
Going through trauma has also taught me a great deal. Being traumatized pushed me towards becoming a trauma counselor. After having experienced something so profound, I knew I wanted to do something to be with others who have also experienced trauma.
I was also surprised by how out of place I’ve felt today. I no longer feel comfortable in the church I used to attend with my sisters. I don’t hate the church, at all. I just feel that I don’t fit in that mold. I’m an odd shaped puzzle piece that doesn’t fit in the picture. I’ve drawn such a different picture of myself especially in the last year. While I respect them and who they are, it isn’t my home anymore, and I felt so oddly detached from this place.
The last feeling I’ll mention, again, is that I felt the pressure to move on. Since my story was such a public one, it’s celebrated publicly. Now that we’ve made the 5 year mark, I feel this overwhelming sense of, “Okay, you’ve made it through the worst part of your life. Next story.” In my head today I’ve wondered whether my story is really all that important, now, after all.
What I remind myself is that I would rather live my story in full color, than tell it. Actions speak louder than words – such a cliche, but oh so true.
In a sense I’m relieved the eyes of the public are turning away. In another sense, I also wonder if there’s anyone else out there, like me, maybe even my age, who has seen what I have. That I can talk to. I still miss that rapport. I’m wracking my brain trying to decide if I’ve ever talked to someone outside my family who “gets” trauma and wants to talk about it.
The memory that hit me real hard today was the moment I had to tell my dad that my twin sister was dead. I did a lot of awful things on December 9, 2007, but that was really one of the worst. Saying those words made it so frightfully real. Maybe that’s why the memory is so painful.
I miss them. I miss my beautiful twin who gave the best hugs of anyone I know. I miss my odd little Rachel, my beautiful little sister who was so ridiculously smart for her age. I think it fucking sucks that I don’t get to spend the rest of my life with them here. So many days go by where I just want to hug them, one more time. So many days I hate that I saw them die in front of my eyes. My beautiful sisters. It’s a nightmare that I still want to wake up from.
Yet at the same time it’s also become a beautiful dream that I get to live.
Anniversaries – they bring up such dichotomies.