My younger sister died when she was four months old. It was December. Two weeks before Christmas. I remember my mother telling me about the funeral we were having for her. I remember her telling me that they would be playing "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder and "they edited out all the sounds." (I wouldn't discover the edited out parts until I was 20ish and I think I died a little more when I did figure it out.) I remember wearing my Blue Bird uniform and sitting with my friends in the church. I remember that tiny casket.
I thought that was the saddest thing ever and I would not want to touch or be around a baby for a very long time after that. I have always felt so sad for my parents and the club they had joined but no one wanted to be a member of.
I remember opening Christmas presents a few weeks later. I remember my dad pulling out another gift from under the tree for either my sister or me to open. The present was not for either one of us, it was for Andrea. And I remember that sucked.
I remember my mom joining a grief group to help her get thru such a difficult thing. I remember how some of her fellow grievers were angry when she got knocked up with my brother.
And you'd better believe all kinds of sunshine, love and goodness poured onto brother's not-so-small ass when he arrived. We all spoiled his ass rotten so we could fill the missing void of Andrea's presence. He was so spoiled that he didn't walk until after he turned one. Who needs to walk when you can be toted around like the prince he was?
And then there were three. It ended up that we're all 5 years apart. Close enough to beat and torture each other on a regular basis but not so close we ever had to go to school together. As the oldest I certainly did keep to my duties of keeping the younger two in line. Sure, it was mostly my line they were towing but I can't help it if I'm smarter than you...and bigger. All the easier to pin you to the floor and tickle you until you pee your pants, my pretty! (Good thing that house had linoleum floors, huh? Way easy to hide the evidence!)
As we've grown into adults, I am still the oldest but now I find myself in a different place. While we are not a particularly close brood, I am still sought out for dirty deeds.
Unfortunately, my sister and her husband are now members of the club my parents joined so long ago. And it hurts me in many, many ways. I know exactly where her anger is. And I'm trying to not let it eat me alive.