I find it hard to start blog posts after a month long absence with anything other than “sorry, long time no post”, “pardon my absence”, or something along those lines. I recently read an article that challenged the idea of teaching our young girls to say sorry–from a feminist standpoint. I no longer have the link saved, but it pretty much argued the point that saying sorry for things, especially those trivial little thing that don’t matter much, can make a girl, and later a woman, feel inferior and as if she owes someone something. Of course, it is important to teach manners, like if we step on someones toe, or say something hurtful that we truly feel bad about–but I know, I for one, have been guilty of saying sorry for things I really should not feel any sorrow for–like not updating my blog. I love it here, I love you guys, I have no plans on stopping…but really, I’m not sorry. Some months will be slow, but I no longer want to even address that after a few weeks or months off. Truthfully, I always find it comforting when I get together with those friends I haven’t seen in years and we pick up exactly where we left off. So, let us pick up where I left off.
If you follow me on Instagram, you likely have heard bits and pieces of the turmoil we have been through in the past three months. My sister, who suffers from schizophrenia, upon being released from the institution (shortly after our visit to New Mexico in November) and off her anti psychotic medication, hopped in her car and drove away from her home in New Mexico. She drove 16 hours to essentially “start over”. Within a few days of her being gone we lost contact. We later found out that her phone, iPad, and the $6000 or so she had in her bank account had been stolen. We no longer had any way of contacting her. A week or so after we lost contact, her car was found abandoned in a lot with all her belongings inside. I lived for over a month thinking my sister was dead, crying myself to sleep, playing over in my head what could have happened to her, and waking every single night with nightmares. After countless attempts to locate her, my mom was finally able to get in touch with an FBI agent, and two days later we were able to confirm that she was alive, but wanted nothing to do with us. It has been about three weeks since she was located, and while I obviously feel so much relief knowing she wasn’t “done in” like one of the many scenarios that played over in my head late at night, it is far from a happy ending. We still don’t know where she is, she has no source of income, her identity has been stolen, she is off some, possibly all her medications, and the likelihood of her getting back in contact grows slimmer by the day. It has been a very scary time.
Figuring out how to move on with this hole in my heart is the hardest part. To go from talking with someone almost every day to not at all has been a real adjustment. I have tried to fill that void with extra time with friends, my relationship with my mother has improved tenfold and we now talk almost daily, but it still doesn’t replace the lack of Hallie I have in my life. No one can replace your sister.
I have been cooking a lot of big and delicious meals, buying cookbooks left and right, like I do. Checking even more out from the library. Some days it feels like all I can accomplish is a delicious dinner. Cooking is very therapeutic to me. The weather has been warm. We have spent much time outdoors. Russ built me a beautiful new table. We have been working on projects around the house. I am thankful for the distraction these kids and this life provide. I am ready to move on from the sadness and focus once again on the good in our daily lives.