on a very, very personal note...

*warning: this is a longass post...*

it probably won't even make any sense. i don't even know where to begin.

i've always looked up to her. i was only 9 and she was only 14, but to this day, i always think of her as being older. she just seemed so much more mature than i was at 14. hell, even now at 27. she just had this sensibility about her. she knew what she was doing and she knew what she wanted and where she wanted to go. maybe it just seemed that way because i was young. i dunno.

my dad used to make her practice violin every morning at 5am. to this day, my dad can sing the note needed to tune the violin. i think it's an A. i can't remember anymore. fuck. i'm losing my mind. it's funny. he doesn't need a piano or tuner or anything. he can just do it. she played with this children's orchestra. the conductor was yo-yo ma's sister. now, that's a musical family. i used to go sometimes with her to the rehearsals. those kids were all frighteningly good.

after my sister died, my parents never pushed me to do anything again. i can barely read notes anymore, let alone actually play piano.

and when my sister was gone, i thought i was going to replace her. i was going to go to the best schools (in nyc, if you want to get into stuyvesant, brooklyn tech or bronx science, apparently you need to take some sort of entrace exam? i dunno. anyway, yeah... she took a test and got the highest score in her school to get into stuy.), take up violin, become a lawyer, and then a judge, and rule the mother fucking world. so funny. you just don't know what the world's like when you're a kid... heh. i just didn't have the determination that she did either. i have no follow-through. i get excited about something and i do it a lot... and then never again. i don't have the talent, either. man. this post is no good for my ego.

my younger siblings were no mistake. everyone always makes jokes about them being accidents because of the differences in age between me and them (my sister is 17, my brother is 16). my older sister passed away in august of 1986. my sister was born june of 1987, my brother in june the year after. only 51 weeks separate their birthdays. my parents needed to have 2 kids to make up for the heartbreak of losing their daughter.

there's so much i wanna say about her. but... my mind's jumping all around and i can't focus on anything.

i miss her. i wish i had her when i was growing up. i would've listened to her. i looked up to her so much. i wanted to be smart like her, tall like her, talented like her, funny like her...

not to say that she was perfect. she had a worse temper than i do. i feared her temper. any little thing i said or did, she would snap at me. just lose it. looking back, i think it was because my parents put her under so much pressure to do well.

because she wasn't around anymore, my dad started having me correct the english in all of his correspondence. any letter that went out, i would have to fix. it's funny. i resented my sister for burdening me with this, but at the same time, i wanted to help him. but, i was only 9. i think i would cringe if i looked back at those letters now. i'm sure i used big words that really didn't work, but i thought it would make him sound more important if he used them. aw, gawd. how awful. and i resent my kid sister and brother for not taking over once i got into college... i mean, if i could do it, couldn't they?

but i love them, too... i know i shouldn't dwell on what's gone. i should be there for my brother and sister. my bro makes it hard to be there for him. he pushes everyone away. everyone except his "friends." i don't have too much in common with my sister, but i love her a lot. i was pretty mean to them growing up. i guess i was sad because i didn't get a full childhood. i was the live-in babysitter and maid. though, i know my parents didn't mean to treat me that way. they just needed my help. having small children that close in age has got to be difficult.

the summer she died, she was visiting relatives in california. my parents sent her out here to celebrate her entry in stuy. that was the summer she actually started to take an interest in me. before this, she only ignored me or yelled at me. the last conversation we had, we were sitting on the stairs inside and she was teasing me about my small nose and then she asked me if i liked any boys and i started giggling uncontrollably. i couldn't answer... so she told me to scrunch up my nose once for no and twice for yes. i got my nose wrinkled once, but after that i kept on laughing and couldn't do it again. and we were laughing...

i miss her how she was then... and i miss her for all the things we missed out on together.

she was the brightest star in our family... i oftentimes think that it should've been me. and it's sad... and after my cousin died, i got that distinct feeling again that it should've been me. these beautiful, beautiful people should've been spared. they had such bright futures... i don't believe i would've been missed as much as these two.

if she lived, we might still be living in ny, i'd be a different person, my parents would be different... i wouldn't have my brother and sister... i would never have met the most fabulous man in the world... but, i can't help but wish she was there at my graduations, my wedding, holidays...

and i'm afraid to get too close to my members of my family. i feel like i have a curse. not that i'm really superstitious or anything. my sister, my grandma, my favorite uncle, my favorite cousin... i have a cousin here with a beautiful baby girl. in a way i'm afraid to get close to her. she does wear me out because she's hyperactive, but there's something else besides that. i feel like it will be my fault if anything happens... out of the 3 families on my dad's side, 2 of the families have suffered the loss of a child. the last is sophia's family. if anything were to happen to her, i really think it will be because of me...

and i'm afraid to have my own children. besides the obvious (i have a foul mouth; i'm crude, rude and mean; i have a short fuse; and the list goes on and on) the genes run really strong on my side. what if our kids turn out to be fuckups? or what if something bad happens. i'm not certain i'd have the strength to get through it like my parents did. i'm not certain i could just go on. not talking about suicide or anything. i just mean, i don't think i could get through the depression... and if i had a surviving child, i wouldn't want to have more kids to fill my void and make them feel alone.

i don't fucking know. i don't fucking know. i don't fucking know.

i miss angela. i miss joe.
joe's 28th birthday's coming up. fuck. i still haven't opened his cd johnny gave me at the funeral. i just don't have the heart. i don't know if i ever will.

joe's bro, dan, told me a long time ago that when he was at his lowest, all he wanted to do was call angela on the phone... and he knew everything would've been all right. and that's how i felt about joe. even though we lived far away from each other, i always had joe. he was always MY cousin. no matter what happened in our families, we had each other... but at his funeral, i had no one. should've been me.

i'm a wreck today. i guess i was thinking of angela and i started thinking of joe and well, this just isn't my day. i'm really not trying to whine. i'm not saying anyone should feel sorry for me or what our family's been through. i just... wanted to write about them. and i guess i feel like shit for having forgotten that day...

goddamn. i loved them. and i still do.

i haven't had a dream about them in a while... but i had one about angela last night... we were walking around my college, walking through the dorms. grainger hall had really steep, steep steps. there were wet paint signs all over the staircase and the stairs had just been painted in a green, but it was dry.

the stairwell was crammed full of people from my 8th grade class. jeaneil, julie, abigail, jonny, todd, troy, danny, armond.... they all looked like they did in the 8th grade with the big hair and bad clothes. heh. we were squeezing past them...

we walked out of grainger and went to newton hall. except newton hall was split in two... we were walking down the hall in one and psycho was there, walking down the other hall. it was like a mirror reflection, except it was his face, instead of mine or angela's. and then psycho said, "i should've gotten together with your sister instead. we would've been much better together." or something to that effect. (that's actually something he said to me. what a fucking psycho... talking about someone's dead sister like that.)

we sat down in a room and he sat down across the way just staring at us with that hateful look on his face that i know so well. his crazy best friend came into our room and just sat there. he was fucked up out of his mind and then just lay down flat on his back. we both looked at each other and she touched my head. i had dandruff.

we both got up and started walking again... and it was a moving sidewalk, but it was going the other direction, but even though we were walking slow, we were still moving fast in the direction we wanted to go...

don't ask me wtf it meant. i'm still concerned about the dandruff... heh.

sometimes i just want to forget them.


Blogger Mike said...

Very brave, Grace. Thank you.

11:53 AM  
Blogger julia said...

i wish i had something magical that i could say that would take your pain away.. i get so choked up when i think about your sister and joe, and how i would die if i lost my sabby.

i remember the first time we talked about angela.. we were at mba and you had mentioned an older sister. i was surprised--i only assumed that you only had a little brother and a little sister. it was weird.. during the course of our conversation i found out that some of my church members were in the same accident.. and i remember my mother talking about a young girl from ny that had died in that crash..

we didn't talk about her again until we were at puc and you played a recording of her playing the violin.. it was beautiful.. i remember thinking that it sounded like there were two people doing a duet.. and you had said that it was just her on the recording. you told me how smart and great she was... and something to the affect that you felt like you were a crappy replacement for her.

i wish you could see that she's with you.. the way that you describe her.. you are describing yourself. you are one of the strongest, talented.. smartest.. loveliest person i know (i'm not saying that because you are my closest friend).

and that day that you found out about joe.. i knew something was wrong. i could feel it..something told me to call you. i called your cell and you answered with this heartbreaking cry.. i had to pull over because i could feel my heartbreaking with yours..

i hope you know that you are not the cause of any of these tragedies.. you are not cursed. you don't know how much you have brought in my life.. you've always been there for me.. and i'll always be here for you.. =)

this was an attempt to try to make you feel better.. but i'm probably doing a horrible job at it.. xox

12:44 PM  
Blogger grace said...

thanks for trying to make me feel better, jules... i love you. xox.

i can't believe it's already been 18 years. i was in denial for so long that it doesn't feel like it's been that long. ya know?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Amber_sun said...

I know I don't really know you Grace but I do know you are who you are because of the wonderful people that you've had in your life. You carry pieces of your sister and pieces of Joe in your personality. You're always talking about how mean you are but just through your writing, I can tell you have lots of heart and caring. You took the time to try and cheer up someone you don't know from Adam (me). I hope you feel better... The people you have known and loved and cared for still love and care for you (that's my take). And mike (I think?) is right HOw brave of you to post something so intimate? Wishing you peace...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Tigerlil said...

woaw! Grace, i wish you understand how important you are to all of us who know and love you. I'm terribly saddened by the pain you are feeling right now and wish i could help take some of that burden from you in order for you not to feel overwhelmed by it. I admire you for being able to express yourself in this way. I know i don't have the courage to do something like this and can only hope that some day could.

I love you woman!

1:56 PM  

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