My sister, Vicki, always seemed to have bad luck. She was hit by a gliding swing when she was young that left a great gash on her head and she broke her front middle tooth in an accident a couple of years after that.
Vicki adored me. There is nothing quite as lovely as having someone in your life that thinks you are the cat’s ass. She was my personal cheering squad. She made sure that I knew that she loved me and that she thought that I was doing well. This made it even harder to watch her lose her mind.
After the incident on our shopping trip for bridesmaid’s dresses, she stabilized enough to manage in her life. She got a college diploma that secured her a job working with mentally and physically disabled individuals. She moved to the city where she took the diploma course and rented one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment. The other bedroom was rented by a guy. I don’t know if she had known him before or if she had met him because he was renting out one of his rooms.
This guy was a normal type of guy. He seemed nice and non-distinctive. I only met him a couple of times. This arrangement worked well for my sister. She hated the fact that he would take her groceries instead of going out to get his own and there were other roommate squabbles but all in all, they had found a way to live in the same apartment together. I believe this arrangement lasted for a couple of years.
As some point, she was either fed up with him taking her groceries or a one-bedroom apartment became available in the same building and she moved out. He could not handle this. He drove his car at top speed across the parking lot at the fairgrounds and into a brick wall.
Needless to say, his death hit my sister fairly hard. She did not handle it well and went into a period where she needed to be hospitalized. I visited her in the hospital and it was hard to find the sister that I had known in the person to whom I was talking. She assured me that she spoke to God and angels and that they were telling her all kinds of important things that she needed to share with people.
I acknowledged that she was being spoken to and I explained that others would not be so understanding and that she should probably keep those conversations to herself. Unfortunately, the messages were too important and she had to let people know. I heard a couple of these messages and I was never sure what she was trying to say or even what the message was.
At some point, a man moved into her apartment. He had a checkered past and had suffered an almost fatal knife wound to the chest at some point. This injury still created some problems for him physically, but all in all, he seemed to be good company for my sister. They lived together for about a year and then one night while they were watching “The Comish,” I believe, he died on the sofa.
Each time that Vicki got sick, she did not come back fully. At this point in my life, I was losing both my father and my sister in waves that would wash over them and leave a fraction of their former-selves behind.
Vicki was in and out of the hospital more and becoming more and more delusional. During one of my daughter’s birthday parties she showed up with a man that could easily be mistaken for someone that was homeless. It sounded as though the two of them were driving around together and had decided to visit. I got the impression that they had run out of money and knew that I would feed them.
Bob was furious. He conjured up a whole litany of stories about how people would react to seeing the two of them in our home while they were picking up their children. He thought that people would reasonably be scared for the safety of their children if they saw these people in our house. He was mad that he had not known in advance that they were coming and he made the entire visit very uncomfortable for me.
I cannot accurately remember what happened next. I knew that I was put into the impossible situation of having to choose between two people. I think that Vicki stayed for a while but she knew that she was unwelcome. Anyhow, it makes me really sad that I did not have her stay for a longer visit and if she were here, I would apologize.