Two Sisters, One Heart. A Short Story of True Origins.
"The garden is looking so beautiful this morning" Blanche turned to Kate with a cup of tea in her hand, "I think I will ask Jim to plant some more rose trees at the end of summer" Kate could see clearly the tears hovering on the bottom of Blanche's eyes. "Come and sit down dear, take the weight off your feet" Kate gently ushered Blanche to the chair in the corner. The chair on which David used to sit, the chair that Blanche now took great comfort in sitting on.
The house was eerily quiet, Jim was in the greenhouse, where he spent most of his time since that day. He could hardly bring himself to look at Blanche. He could not bear to see the pain expressed in her eyes. Meal times were the worst, after 26 years of marriage they had lost the ability to talk. Both of them with down turned faces, they had learnt to eat without spilling a drop of food, not even gravy or on occasion, custard. Deserts used to be common, in fact every day when David visited, but they had become rare treats for the foreseeable future.
Kate watched her sister with some concern. Her beautiful, gregarious sister who had always been the life and soul of the party. With no sparkle in her eyes, Blanche cradled the hot cup of tea with both hands and sat silently. Kate walked away, tears in her eyes and her thoughts gradually returned to her own family. Brian would be missing her, he was never very good at looking after himself, or the dog, Kate remembered fondly. She would try to visit home today, depending on Blanche.
Grieving was such a necessity, but so destructive of emotions. Kate glanced through the kitchen window to Jim in the greenhouse; Jim had always been the quiet one, the rock of his family; but today he looked so vulnerable. She wanted to tell him that it would all be ok, time was a great healer and God was on their side. But they were just empty words now, Kate was so angry. She argued with herself 'how could God allow this, such a young talent gone to waste.' Two lives totally shattered, no hope or wisdom she could share would make this feeling any better, there were no actions that could justify what had happened.
Just 19 years old, and all his life ahead of him, David was the bright star of the family. A young man whose love of life was infectious; a young man who was loved by so many, gone. Tragicically lost.
Kate relived the phone call from Jim two weeks ago. "Kate, it's Jim. David has gone, they think he answered his girlfriend's call on his mobile phone, misjudged the junction in the road, swerved to miss another car, and hit a lamp post." Then silence. Kate just stood, sobbed and screamed for Brian. The two of them approached Blanche's house to see the police car and Dr. Jame's car parked on the curbside. Kate could see Jim sat on the stairs with the phone still in his hands, and she heard the terribly distraught screams from her sister Blanche.
The church was packed for David,s funeral. Members of the local soccer team had made an arch of honour for the coffin to pass through. The Liverpool football club song, 'You will never walk alone played in the church.' Many of David's university friends sat in pews at the back of the church, the sound of sobbing resounded in Kate's ears.
In the middle of the service Blanch gradually stood up, Jim took her arm "where are you going dear", Blanche didn't seem to listen. She walked slowly over to the deep mahogany coffin and took off her coat. She looked up at the vicar and sobbed "He needs a coat on, he doesn't like the cold" Placing her black double breasted jacket over the coffin, Blanch gazed upon the photograph of her son and fell to the floor, still and lifeless.
Was that only two weeks ago Kate thought to herself. It seemed like it was only yesterday. Kate had accompanied Blanch and Jim to identify the body. David looked so beautiful, not a mark on his handsome face, he looked just like he was asleep. Jim sat outside the room not bearing to go inside. Blanche tried to get into the coffin with David and it took all of Kate's courage to stand by her side.
It was still hard to believe that David was gone. But sometimes tragedy throws some terrible blows. Tomorrow was Andrea's funeral, David's girlfriend. So distraught of the thought of causing Davids death, she had cut her wrists and bled to death, silently, alone in her bedroom, with only a letter of apology at her side.
This article is written for my dearest friend Kate, whose suffering and strength of character amazed me then and still amazes me now. Love you Katie Lou.