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How it went, how it's going

I stayed up last night and made cookies. I did this because that is what I was doing in New York City in 1985 at the moment the car my sister was a passenger in spun out of control and threw her out onto the street. It went okay last night, you know -- I didn't cry, I didn't obsess about the details of her death, and the cookies turned out quite yummy. I thought about the family vacations we took and the night at the restaurant in San Francisco that she made us all laugh so hard that even the waiters were cracking up. Her nickname, B.B.'s, was "Ms. Fun." That's what her friends in high school called her.

So I'm hoping that the reason I am feeling so ill right now is simply that I statyed up all night, but I'm not sure that accounts for the shaking and the nausea. Maybe, though. Overall I'm doing all right. The one thing I wish I could do right now that I just can't seem to do is call my mother. Her pain is so raw and there's no help for it -- all I can do is bear witness to it, and I'm not sure I'm strong enough at the moment to do that and maintain my own equilibrium. But at the same time I am rather desperate to know how she's doing, and I don't want her to feel alone. When I was taking my bath early this morning I was thinking a lot about how sad it is for mom that she shares a birthday with B.B.

B.B. loved Cookie Monster. She had a big Cookie Monster that she slept with (or rather, ON) until he became absolutely flat, and the little plastic rod that connected his two eyeballs snapped, and now both his eyes kind of wander off crazily in unexpected ways. It's very cute. I have that Cookie Monster now. Hence the icon.

Okay, wow, the nausea is going and so is the headache. I'm relieved.

I don't want to think too much about the details of that night, but one thing that still amazes and somehow comforts me is that I -- well, I still can't bring myself to say I knew when she died, because consciously I didn't, but something, even if was sheer coincidence, connected me to her. As I mentioned, I was living in Manhattan and I had been baking cookies. I wasn't planning on going home that Christmas, so I was furiously baking and assembling cookie tins to send to everyone as gifts (since I had no money, being a starving student and all). Around 10:30 that night, the 12th, I had just put a batch of cookies in the oven when a searing, blindingly painful headache hit me. I couldn't even stay standing. I mumbled to Geoff, asking him to take the cookies out of the oven when the timer went off, then went and laid face down on the bed, fully clothed, and immediately fell into a disturbed sleep. I dreamed that Amy and B.B. and I were standing in front of our mother, only Amy and B.B. were much younger, back when everyone thought they were twins, and they were dressed in their Christmas nightgowns. Somehow the "mother" in the dream wasn't mine anymore, but she was definitely related to my mother, and she made it clear without words that one of my sisters was going to die. I started crying and pleaded, and the mother got very impatient. Then one of the little girls suddenly crumpled to the floor -- I thought it was Amy, but I couldn't see her face. In my dream I sank to my knees, just astounded by the cruelty, and at that point I woke up crying. It was around 1 am on the 13th. I realized that the phone was ringing. Geoff had come to bed and the apartment was dark, and I KNEW something was wrong (that I DID know), and I made him answer the phone, and he handed it right to me, and it was my father . . . at the hospital in Houston . . . and B.B. had just been pronounced dead, and then the whole waking nightmare started.

It sounds so self-aggrandizing. But it happened that way.

Whew. Anyway, I'm okay, and I'm not feeling quite as sick anymore. I'm going to go walk around in the sunshine, and then I'll try to call mom.

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me . . . oh! Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
cleotyne
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Lauri. Thank you for posting this. I'm so sorry that you lost your beloved sister, who sounds like she was just so wonderful. Lots of hugs to you from here.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )