2023-12-03 - 12:10 p.m.
The last time I saw my sister, she was doing something we used to giggle about old folks doing ...The Positive O.
That's where one is sleeping, or resting, or just not caring while wide awake, that your mouth is wide open. If your tongue is hanging out, it's called The Positive Q. It's real funny, till it's your sister.
She was asleep and doing the Positive O. She was in a hospice facility, and we were told to come sign the DNR, so it wasn't just a happy nap and I knew it...but, we weren't expecting her to actually die (I know. I know. "Hospice" means die...but she went there "to give Mom a break and let her REST for a few days", she said. "I'll come home on Wednesday" she said. She wasn't there to die, we thought. ...We thought. ) so, I walked up to her bedside thinking, "Hey, girrrrr, I'm bout to bust you out, laying up in hurr doin' the Positive O. As I approached and said, "Hey girl...." her eyes fluttered open and she turned her head toward me...and she didn't shut her mouth. She couldn't shut her mouth. And my intended sentence died away, and I cried instead. "What are you DOING, pal?? This ain't the plan!". Her eyes filled with sympathy and love. Sadness and apology. She didn't mean to be taking away my best thing. My best friend. She didn't mean to give in....it was just...happening.
I was the first one to get to her that day and I had my time with her, telling her how I loved her. Laying my head on her, crying softly, telling her the things I wanted her to know, and feeling her little fingers patting me, occasionally, trying to console me while she died. She never did shut her lips over those front teeth.
Those front teeth were a big deal in my life. They were the signature of Nip, a funny character she would do, opposite my Biff, a "mean girls meets 70'S YMCA ads" sketch comedy bit we'd fall into and something only we shared, at which we would laugh heartily. Those front teeth were used to taunt my best friend Christopher, when he issued an edict that I was going to have to produce something for him to eat before he would allow me a coveted ride on his bicycle. Locki happened to have been in the bathroom that day, during that confrontation, and the window faced out onto the porch where Chris and I were. Her toweled head appeared there and repeated Christopher's greedy little phrase, much to his chagrin, her front teeth prominently pushed out in view and spoken around, to fully to mock Christopher's 10 year old overbite: "No foooooood, nooooo ride."
I bet she didn't intend to torture me with those front teeth on that very last day, but she did. The vision of her, so small and pale and dying, with those front teeth on view as she was no longer able to close her lips... It is a picture that will never leave my mind, until I close my eyes forever and open them to see her, young and smiling and waiting for me there.
I miss you so much, pal.
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