Thursday afternoon he kissed his big sister on the forehead for the last time. It was only the third time in his life he had ever done so. The previous two times were the two days preceding that final farewell.
55 years old. So young. Too young. Gone. A slow, sad, slipping away of life.
They hadn’t been close. Not for years. He didn’t keep in close contact with any of his family. It wasn’t a bitter thing. His family choose to live according to one religion, he another. There were yearly gatherings. Which he usually attended. But the events were awkward. He didn’t stay long. He had a wife and family that smiled politely and tried to fit in. But it was hard.
Then, she got sick. And sicker. He took time off of work to be with her. His siblings all gathered, reminiscing about the past, closing the gap, tighten long forgotten bonds.
The last four days he was at her bedside from morning to night. Talking to the doctors, helping to readjust her for comfort. Five siblings, one in a bed dying. A mother prepared to lose another person, having already put to ground her husband, a grandson and two great-grandchildren. So much loss. So much grief.
The last day was a rough one. The time was near. The siblings drew in closer, connecting in ways long forgotten. Their oldest sibling, quiet and still. Not quite at peace yet.
Evening came and he bent and kissed his sister on the forehead. One last time, Knowing it was the last time.
A few hours later, the call came. She had been called home. At peace.
The grief came as a giant wave. Something that was expected suddenly seemed so unexpected. No more time.
He only kissed his sister three times in his life. But he was there when it counted.