This is the blog post I have struggled to write for the past 6 months. I am uncertain why siting here in the Chicago airport, with little more than 3 hours of sleep under my belt, that I am up to the task. Further proof that life is a complicated and unexplainable series of choices and occurrences. Either way, today is the day I introduce you to my sister Katy- or Kat as she like to be called.
Katy spent most of her life with the world against her. Born with weak lungs and immune system (like my mother), my sister was often in the hospital. I remember as kid hanging out in ICU, talking to nurses and hating my sister. Being the teenage brat I was, I felt deeply disappointed whenever the world did not revolve around me.
I remember spending so many of those years feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t get to do the things every other kid did, because I was the girl with the sick family. Sure we went through periods of healthy times; for several years during high school Katy was a nationally ranked athlete. Years after her athletic period, my sister still reveled in showing off her shot and discus skills.
Those years of pain, loneliness and immense misunderstanding led me to the Internet. On the computer I was a normal kid in a fantasy world where no one was sick and few brushes of the keys made everything better. On the web, everything that was inaccessible to me in the physical world was easily obtained. By age 12 I was waking up early every day before school so I could update my website. I was spending hours reading anything and everything I could find online. I had a home; I was a child of the inter-webs.
Up until last year I looked at this time in my life as a negative blemish; something unsightly that had finally scabbed over and healed. Awkwardly dressed, socially awkward, and immensely alone Anna was an embarrassing part of my life carefully hidden away under designer clothes and late-in-life bloomed charisma.
On June 15th, 2011 Katy passed away. It wasn’t expected. I wasn’t prepared. It was too soon. Katy had just gotten her life back together- she was healthy and happy for the first time in years. I will forever question, why? I will always hope she’s gone to somewhere infinitely better than here.
I am not sure what I believe when it comes to god and science, but one thing I am sure of is that I am a better person because of my sister. Through all the years the difficulties we as sisters faced forced me to grow, explore, and mold myself into who I am today. I just wish that I had realized what a dramatic impact her life had on mine sooner. Her illness helped me to find my calling, my place in the world. I wish I could tell her. Thank you, Katy