I cry just thinking of her thoughtfulness and how hard she tried to make it on her own. I miss her phone calls to me where she would say "Hi, its just me." I miss how she would be instantly concerned if there were any problems I had and was my immediate protector, often calling me to find out if things got resolved. I was ten years older than her when she was born, and loved taking care of her.
Tammy was very intelligent, getting straight A's through High School and College. Being her sister was always fun because she could sing, write, loved reading, and though she wasn't very demonstrative, she would show her love by acts of kindness often. She stayed with me when my husband and I had our first baby and helped out tremendously. I will never forget when I went into labor, she through her arms around me and kissed me - something so unlike her, but meant so much to me. Later in life, she had two children of her own, and I enjoyed watching her be an even better mother than I was. As an older sister, there is a unique relationship that forms and it becomes hard not to mother or get too nosy in a little sisters life. She always let me know if I was overprotective, and I learned to back away and let her make her own decisions. When her little boys needed shots, or appointments, or they needed to register for school, she got it all done in a very timely manner. I will never forget how raising them alone, she managed to save money to buy her first new furniture, which was a set of bunk beds for her boys. I was so proud of her. When we went to church she always had them ready for us to pick them up, and later she began to go to a church she liked and got her boys involved in any programs for them. I can't say enough about what a good responsible worker she was. Even with her boys in daycare, she would get up early to put a crockpot of food in the car in the middle of winter, get herself dressed and the boys and get them to daycare and her on to work where her co workers would enjoy her good cooking. I love and miss her terribly and holidays are hard. I also deal with guilt for not seeing red flags as time went by.
Tammy had a gastric bypass a few years before she had children. She ended up in a violent relationship, and ended it on her own, but started a new relationship with another person who was equally violent. She married him and I failed to see the signs of battered wife syndrome. There are so many changes that take place and many things happened to her, that I will never know and I have only heard what others witnessed. I heard only what she felt safe enough to share. She wanted to protect my family from being hurt, and by this time, she was affected so deeply, and after the police were involved following a crisis, we put her in a women's shelter. Various programs through the state helped her get into an apartment and she got a job right away. She went to counseling with her children and seemed to get back on her feet. Several things happened after this led to her addiction. First, she began to have problems associated with her gastric bypass. She struggled with it constantly and ended up in the hospital often. She was sent home with pain pills, and I believe she became addicted to them. I never saw her drink before, and one day she had a beer in her hand. I soon saw one all the time. She had a pasty white color to her, and I learned from others she had been hospitalized a couple times and she didn't tell me. I was heart broken and worried. I found out at a conference, that people with gastric bypass, are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol and an alarming rate because the alcohol and drugs given to someone with a gastric bypass, causes problems with addiction. One beer is equal to three and one pill is equal to three, and hydrocodone is very addictive in a regular person. I believe my sister was well into her addiction before she even knew what was happening. Her shame kept her from sharing with me or anyone, and there was no one to intervene.
She smiled whenever she talked about her two boys. They are good boys who always loved her and did what they could for her. She smiled when something great happened in my life and loved to see me happy. She was loved by her co-workers who appreciated her good food and she always was happy to see other happy. What a generous sister she was.
I cry just thinking of her thoughtfulness and how hard she tried to make it on her own. I miss her phone calls to me where she would say "Hi, its just me." I miss how she would be instantly concerned if there were any problems I had and was my immediate protector, often calling me to find out if things got resolved. I was ten years older than her when she was born, and loved taking care of her. The void in my heart is never going to go away.