There was no chance to fight the swift and terrible disease called Ovarian Cancer. My sister went in the hospital four days after my mother passed away. Twenty-six days after mother was gone, so was Penny. Gone forever – except in our thoughts and memory.
There are no more chances to get to know her, something that did not really happen in our lifetime. Oh I knew how talented an artist she was, I knew how much she loved crafting and antique collecting. I knew how much she loved my mother and devoted her life (literally) to caring for her. I knew she got great grades in school, and she loved to garden. I also knew she could not live without Mom.
My view of her was tainted by her inabilities rather than her abilities. I saw her symptoms of Aspergers and let them define how I viewed my sister. We clashed often before I understood, but even after she would not let me into her world. It was her world and I was not allowed in, probable because of old grievances and stupid things I did as her younger sister, but maybe just because it was her world, not mine. My regret is that I did not find a way that was not threatening to her. I did not find a way, until the last eight weeks of her life, and that was not enough time.
I will be forever grateful we had those last eight weeks together. Much of it was spent focused on Mom, of course, but after Mom passed, the focus changed. I listened to her stories, she told me where to find things, our past difficulties were forgotten or forgiven without being spoken of. Yes, I will be grateful, but I still regret what has been lost. I admire her decision not to fight. Much like my father, she went bravely into the night, alone and scared but sure of her path. Travel well sister.