My sister died.
She wasn't unwell. It wasn't expected. We hadn't spoken for years. Four years she had written in a message to someone else. I'm not convinced it was that long but we certainly hadn't spoken for a while. I saw her a fortnight before Christmas. She saw me too.
A break from the every day tasks, stress, strains of being a parent, a grown up woman, the responsibility of life, pressures of every decision, the decider of each turn, which road to take..
I got a call. She was in Thailand (I had no idea) and had been involved in a head on collision on a moped. It didn't look good. I can't imagine for a second that it ever might.
As I stood on the grass outside my home on Boxing Day having just been for a run, the world seemed a very unusual place. It was spinning too quickly, everything looked a blur, I couldn't focus or hear clearly.
"I'm so sorry for you" I remember hearing.
But it wasn't me lying there away from home, hoping to have a rest. By that evening, I was speaking to the doctor at her bedside and listening to the reality. Machines beeping. It was heart-breaking.
Life is so completely unpredictable. Each day is unknown. Not one of us is secure or safe forever. Regardless, we always think our way is the right way but it can turn out to be completely wrong.
I loved my sister. I'm not sure that she loved me but I will never know. There is something I have to do. I am pretty sure that I know the road I have to take but truthfully, I have no idea if what I think to be right, is entirely wrong for her. I will do my best. That's all I can do after all. If I could ask her, I would.
Am I back? I have never left. I am still exactly where I was when I took the decision to be private. I was peered at and felt violated. It was an invasion of my privacy. I was judged and criticised. And now my entire life has been turned upside down. Rather than find something to criticise or question, take a risk and turn up at my home with a cake and make me a cup of tea. I almost certainly will smile at you.
My door is always and has always been open. Sadly, the one person I believed would walk back through it one day, now cannot and I have to accept that. Somehow.
Amen. Please don't judge too harshly. You just don't ever know..