By Mindy Miller
I really don't like calling the upcoming March 13th an Anniversary - I need another term for it. I think of an anniversary as a good day like the day you got married (or divorced for some) or how long you have been cancer free... something good.
However, March 13th is the day, a year ago, that my sister, Jenny, passed away from cancer. I don't really relate much "good" or "excitement" with the date. It's actually been very hard to even think the day is coming up so quickly. I think my whole family has been hurting as each day brings us closer to that "year mark". Why should the "year mark" be any different or harder than any other day? Well I think just knowing that she has been gone a whole year... already.
I know for some of my family it has been hard because they think they are forgetting her a little. Maybe her voice, her laugh, what she looked like or even the way she acted. Fortunately for me, I have two "mini-Jennys" walking around my house from 8:00 in the morning till 5:30 at night that constantly remind me of the way Jenny acted, talked, looked, argued, etc.
I still have her obituary on my fridge and it will probably stay there forever. I don't know why, but it will. Perhaps because I see it multiple times a day and it reminds me of her, everyday, and I like that. But it makes me sad when Erin, Jenny's oldest (4), sees it and tells me she 'misses her mommy today, which she just said last Wednesday. It breaks my heart, because she has a great Mommy who would have done the neatest things with her girls had she been given the chance to take care of them.
So I don't love calling it an Anniversary. I have tried to think of other things to call it. In fact on our Higley Family Website, I'm unofficially in charge of the 'Event Board', I listed March 13th as "The year of firsts without Jenny is over, onto the next year" or something like that. But even that seems kind of cold and not very nice.
So I guess to look at this as "glass half full" rather than "half empty" I should think "We made it through the first year [yea!] - maybe the upcoming year will be easier". Maybe. I think it has made us think of all the good times, funny times and bad times, that we have had together as sisters (and family).
So this last year has been a hard one. I don't ever want to have to repeat 2008! :) But like most people say when they have gone through hard times, it has made us all stronger. (That's for sure.) I miss my sister. So perhaps you see why I don't like calling this her "death anniversary". But anniversary it is.