My older sister moved to a different city when I was still in high school, so it was hard for us to remain as close as we had been. Since that time we each found our own paths and started our own families. It is the same old tale with most families. We never saw each other like we wanted, but life just traveled on.
When I got pregnant with my first child, she delivered the most honest advice I could have expected. In most cases, you can only really rely on your older sister to be perfectly blunt about the ugly parts of the most beautiful things in life. She came back to town in the summer. Warm weather always reminds me of her visits. We would sit on the back deck and lazily drink Coors Light as our children swarmed around us at seemingly light speed. Her girls were a breath of fresh air in a sea of boys. I ended up having a girl to add to the number, so that was good. A little over a year ago, I got an email from her that I will never forget. The subject was: Modern Family. The TV show, Modern Family had just premiered and she couldn't be more ecstatic about it. It was funny how it was and how much it reminded her of her own life.
I made a point to TiVo the premiere episode and I loved it. It's rare that I will like a show right from the start. Most shows take time to grow on me. Modern Family had me hooked, and my sister and I shared that link across many miles.
She sent me an email about the last episode before the Winter hiatus that was brief and served mostly to make sure that I'd seen it, and was up to date. This was in either late November, or early December of 2009.
It was so run-of-the-mill.
I wish it was more poignant.
I wish it had said more... I didn't even respond to it.
It would be the last time I had any contact with her.
My sister was killed on the way home from a Christmas party, one week before Christmas.
She was driving home on a stretch of road that she had driven hundreds of times. She hesitated on a sharp turn and went over into a steep ditch.
I still have the emails she sent me singing the praises of Modern Family, and laughing about it with her family. After she died, I made a pact with myself that I would never miss one episode. Everytime I watch one, I think of my beautiful sister.
Everytime Modern Family wins an award, I think of my sister and how she would have congratulated herself for being able to pick a winner.
It's funny how mundane things can become so important in hindsight.
So, I say congratulations to everyone involved with the show and thank them for helping me have one last connection with my sister.