Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mary Carol Tuggle

Speaking of time passage, there is one date that will forever be marked in my heart.  It’s the day I lost my oldest sister.  Luckily the horror of those few days before and after are blurred with only small memories.  The memories I do have are painful, will instantly bring tears to my eyes, and make me want to drown my pain in the nearest thing that is bad for me. 

It’s always a hard thing when you lose someone so close to you earlier than you should.  It feels like you’ll never smile again.  Never know true happiness again.  The light has gone out of the world and surely you will die of a broken heart.  Somehow, inexplicably, life continues.  Birthdays come and go.  Milestone are hit. 

If you ever look at my knees they are covered in scars.  I was trying to keep up with the big kids in the neighborhood (surprise surprise) and crashed my bike. I had a blast going down that hill until that stupid rock got in the way.  I always think of that crash when I see my knees.  Healing from the loss of a loved one feels very much like that.  Healing comes, but there’s a scar.  You are marked.  It takes a long time, but eventually you hold on to that scar because it’s what’s left.  The memory.

How you view that memory defines you.  You can be bitter and angry (which trust me, I was).  You can block that memory and try to move on (didn’t work).  You can hold on to that memory so hard that you never fully appreciate the present because your thoughts are in the past (which also, trust me, I did and sometimes fall back into on sad days).  Then, there’s the option of looking down on that scar and smiling.  Choosing to remember the thrill of the ride, instead of the pain it caused.

Here are just a very few reasons that I smiled today:

·         She sneezed in 3’s.  Sometimes Teddy does too.  On his third sneeze, we always say, “Hey Carol.”
·         She didn’t need anyone to fight her battles. Just ask Andrea...Carol was picking her up from school and a boy was making fun of her.  Andrea gave him the bird.  Let's just say Carol did not appreciate her little/big sister making such a crude gesture.
·         She used Vicks VapoRub every night before bed (she always had a hard time breathing).  To this day I will burst into tears if I smell it.  I love it, but it hurts.
·         Her laugh was more of a cackle.  It was awesome.
·         She loved scary movies.
·         She wrote in all of her books.  Signed her name or wrote me a message.  I love to read and always think of her when I start a new book.
·         She was ALWAYS cold.  Cold hands.  Cold feet.  Warm heart.
·         I don’t have one single memory of her being mean to anyone who patronized her for being so short.  She handled it all so much more calmly than either Andrea or I ever could.  We always wanted to fight back, but she took it in such stride.
·         I hate shopping.  Mama and Andrea always loved it.  Carol would always sit with me whenever they would shop for hours.  We had each other.
·         Her answering machine used to say, “You’ve reached Carol, Shadow, and Kit.”  Shadow was her dog and Kit her cat. 
·         She couldn’t drink and eat at the same time (medical reason) so I wouldn’t drink either so she wouldn’t feel alone.  I still hardly drink when I eat now.  That first sip after a meal, I always think of her.
·         My dog “Buddy” was her dog’s brother.  I loved that sisters had dogs that were brothers.  I remember thinking that was the neatest thing. 
·         I have a Pound Puppy that I have absolutely loved thread bare.  I only wanted him because Carol had one.
·         She wore a small gold necklace with 3 hearts for me, her, and Andrea. 
·         She had to sit on stacks of pillows to see over the steering wheel.
·         She was blind in her left eye and hated if you walked on that side because she couldn’t see you.  When I walk with someone I still only walk on the right side.  When I catch myself doing it, I always smile.
Oh, Carol.  You were my best friend.  You were dealt a very hard hand, and you handled it as best you could.   My 16 years with you just wasn’t enough time.  I’m glad that I find reasons to smile on this terribly sad day.  The laughs and the love were worth it.  I hurt because I was blessed with you, and no matter how much time I had with you, I guarantee that I would’ve wanted more. 
I hate that I don't have a ton of digital pictures of you or anything to hold onto that was yours (other than the necklace that is just too sacred to wear).  I do have few pictures though and they are precious to me.
Daddy's Little Girl. 

Always by my side.  My best friend.

 Easter at Maw Maw's
Thanksgiving at Bea's

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That was an awesome tribute to Carol! Love it.