Its been a tough three weeks. On May 23, my oldest sister and best friend Kathie died in a tragic car accident. I have been numb the past few weeks, but haven't given up on fitness. In fact, I threw myself into Jazzercise, and I am hoping that I can continue to improve my health and well being. Recently I have faced other adversity as we found out we had an electrical problem and Centerpoint Energy cut off our power until it got fixed. Been spending the last several days in a hotel. Not easy with a 15 month old. And still hurting..missing my sister more than ever. I am going to share my personal blog so all of you can know a little more about my sister.
The Best Sister in the World!
My world completely changed on May 23, 2013. The day started out so fun. My niece Melody and her two kids Jaedyn and Kash came to my house and we went to the Houston Zoo together. Not only did we get to have a picnic lunch, see the animals, but we rode the train before we left. It seemed like the perfect day. I had just spoken to my parents that afternoon, (who were in Alabama at the time), and knew they were headed to my niece Loran's graduation. Around the time they were supposed to be at the graduation my phone rang. When I saw my Mom's number my heart sank. I knew something had to be wrong. I will never forget the words my Mom said. "Kathie died." My heart stopped. Could this be true? Could my best friend in the entire world be gone? Surely this was a mistake...but sadly it was not. My sister Kathie was with Jesus. She was ready. I knew the instant she left this physical world she was in the presence of the Master. More on that later. I want to tell you about the best sister in the world!
I come from a yours mine and ours family. I am the only "ours". When my Mom met my Dad they each had children and then had me. When my sister Kathie was 12, she became a little Momma to me. She would change my diapers and spend time with me (so I am told..lol). When I was little I remember spending so much time in her room listening to music and playing with her blonde haired doll. It was huge, almost as big as me. Its so funny the memories of a child and what stands out. I vividly remember listening to REO Speedwagon's Keep on Loving You, Supertramp's Breakfast in America, and Stxy Babe. I can imagine us belting out the lyrics in unison. Kathie was a big part of my life back then. So much so that I became the official chaperone on her and Leland's dates. I remember them taking me to Sea-a-rama in Galveston, to see the movie Poltergeist (probably not such a good idea in hindsight..lol), and various other places. I remember Kathie liked Dr. Pepper, and Leland liked Coke, and I didn't know what I liked, so they would make me a special mixture of both. Why I remember that..who knows, but I liked it! ;)
As time went by it was obvious Leland and Kathie were going to get married. I had the very special privilege of being their flower girl. I don't remember too much from that day, but I loved my strawberry dress!
After Kathie got married I think I was worried that she wouldn't be able to spend time with me anymore. Although she and Leland moved away, I got to spend plenty of time with her. She made me an Aunt at age 6, and to this day David is like a little brother to me. I am so thankful that he and I have such a great relationship. Not too much later Jennifer came along. I remember her always saying "Ahnn" to people, which basically meant "NO" and to leave her alone. When Melody came along I was 10, and I loved her thick hair. She was so cute. When Tim was born they lived right around the corner from us. I think I spent more time at Kathie's house then I did at my own. I loved playing with my nieces and nephews! When they moved to LaPorte I was a little sad, but that just meant I had to come over for sleepovers more often. When Merri Ann was born, she and I were the best of friends. She was and is still my "Sunshine". Kathie not only gave me an extra family, but she taught me everything she knew about babies. For all my life I have been known as "baby hog", and I am fine with that. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews. I probably spent more time with the "Fab Five" then I have with the younger siblings, but there is still time to change that. I have been peed on, thrown up on, and who knows what else by those kids, but I wouldn't trade them for all of the money in the world!
The second chance group has their own special place in my heart. Samuel's birthday is the day before mine, Jonathan allowed me to be present for my grandmother's passing, my sweetpea Amanda was my "fake" kid, and Janessa...well, she is Janessa. I hope to be a part of their lives and be a positive influence, just like their Momma was on me.
Having a sister when you are little is one thing, but having a sister as an adult is a whole new blessing. You get to a certain age where your friendship just blossoms. I am so lucky that Kathie and I had that special bond. She stood by me through some of the hardest moments in my life. I could tell her anything and she wouldn't judge me. However, she would give me Godly biblical advice as to what I should do. I cannot tell you how much that means to me still to this day. In 1999 I was planning a wedding, and when 2000 rolled around I was so ready to be married and settled down. Apparently God had other plans because that relationship ended a month before I was to say I do. As anyone would be in that situation I was devastated, but Kathie was a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and a heart that prayed for my sorrow.
Two years later I met my husband Josh at work. Although he wasn't a Christian, Kathie treated him with dignity and respect. She never judged him, and always made him feel at ease. They had a special bond. When my Dad would tell one of his "stories" for the umpteenth time, Kathie and Josh would exchange "the look" and just smile. It was their way. When Josh proposed Kathie helped me plan my wedding, going so far as to be the wedding coordinator, just a month after having Janessa. She and Michelle Conrad hosted my wedding shower, and made me feel so comfortable. Although some people didn't agree with me marrying a "non Christian", Kathie stood by my side. She would tell me to stay in the Lord, be a Proverbs 31 wife, and that maybe through me my husband would see Christ. I haven't always held up to that standard, but am trying to mold myself into the wife and mother my sister would be proud of.
After almost 3 years of marriage I was blessed with a son. Kathie kept telling me how much she loved babies and was so excited she was going to have nephew. Although she has many wonderful nieces and nephews by marriage, Jax would be the first on "her" side of the family. She wanted to be present during the birth but couldn't because I had to have an emergency c section. Kathie was up at the hospital for around 10 hours with me, through labor and recovery. She kept my spirits up and comforted me when my epidural wore off. I will never forget her sacrificing time with her own family to be with me and mine.
As Jax grew my phone calls to Kathie were more frequent. After each checkup I would call her with all of the "Jax details". When he was sick she was the first call I made. I could call or text her at any hour of the day. When he had the flu twice recently she talked me through some of the hardest moments. Not only did she advise me on what to do about Jax, she took the time to comfort me, pray for me, and be a support.
Anytime I had a need, prayer, or advice, Kathie was there. I cannot think of a moment in my life when she wasn't there for me. She taught me how to be the wife and mother God wants me to be. Not only did she lead by example, but she spoke the tough words when I needed it. I remember one time Josh and I were fighting and I was being stubborn. She told me to apologize to him. She said it didn't matter whose "fault" it was but that I needed to be the bigger person, the Christian, and apologize and make the situation right. Surprising to me but it actually worked. When I humbled myself and admitted wrong in the situation, my husband's manner softened. Things were better after that.
Kathie and I often talked about Heaven and how it was so important to be ready when God calls us home. My sister lived that everyday of her life. I loved watching her sing at church. Sometimes she would close her eyes and lift her head toward Heaven, obviously caught up in the message of the song. It was a beautiful sight, and you could tell she was truly worshiping with all of her heart and soul. I can still picture it in my mind and it makes me smile thinking about her looking down on me now. She is singing with the angels and loving every moment of eternity. I cannot wait to see her again and thank her for being the best sister in the world.
I don't know how I am going to get on with out her, but I do know that I am determined to live my life after her; not because SHE was perfect, but because she lived her life following HIM. I want to make Kathie proud. She touched so many in her short life. I hope I can do the same. Will 800 people show up for my funeral? Probably not, but they did for her, and that speaks volumes.
I have a hole in my heart where Kathie once was, and the pain is still so raw. I never know what is going to trigger the tears and I don't know how long it will be until I see her again. As long as I keep my eyes on Heaven, like she did, I will be ok. Thanks for listening to the ramblings of a girl who had the best sister in the world.
Thanks for reading.