Friday the 24th of September would have been my little sister Jamie's 24th birthday. She passed away just a couple months after turning two years old. I am two years older than her. And although God has blessed me with another fantastic little sister, I still miss Jamie.
I was less than 3 weeks away from turning 5 when she died. Fortunately, I was old enough to have plenty of awesome memories of her, and our time together. I'm glad that I was old enough to remember her. I miss her though. I wish she could have been born healthy, and that we could have grown up together.
These are a few of my memories of her. I remember that when she would cry, I could sing her ANY song and she would stop crying and look over at me. That's all it took. I remember she had a turtle that played music that she loved more than anything. I remember how much dark, curly hair that she had. She had the darker complexion from the Native American blood in her. She was beautiful, and fascinating. I didn't understand much about what was happening to her when it was going on. All I knew is that she had to take a lot of medicines, we spent a lot of time taking her to the doctors. I also remember when her body started failing having to spend some time at a hospital that I remember being far from the house (although, I don't think it really was). I remember after that time at the hospital when she came home, she wouldn't stop crying even when I sang to her, and her turtle didn't make her happy anymore either. I never wondered why my little brother who was a year and a half older than her could do so many more things than she could. All I knew was that she was my baby sister, and I loved her dearly.
She was born with a genetic disorder that affected her chromosomes. She actually was born with an extra part of one chromosome. Something that sounds so minor, but really isn't. Her body just didn't know how to function with that extra genetic material. When she passed away the December after her second birthday she wasn't developed much more than an infant that was 6 months old.
I still remember the day she passed away. I remember waking up and knowing it was very early because it was still dark outside. But, even though it was very early there was a lot of noise in the house. When I got out of bed I found that there was lots of grown ups I didn't recognize in the house. I found my mom sitting at the kitchen table, and I climbed into her lap. I asked her why these people were at our house, and she told me it was because Jamie had died in her sleep. Our family lost a several close loved ones right around this same time, so I knew what died meant. I didn't really believe it though. She told me I could go see her if I wanted because she was still in her crib. I went into her bedroom, and sure enough she was lying in her crib. She looked like she did when she was sleeping. I remember sticking my hand through the slats on the crib and touching her arm to try and wake her up. When this didn't work I remember trying to jiggle her a little bit. I guess in my mind I just thought that maybe the grown ups hadn't tried really hard to wake her up. So, I tried my best to jiggle and rouse her from this obviously deep slumber.
The next thing I remember was a little boy, and a little girl standing on either side of me at the crib. As I continued to wake Jamie up I remember them quietly telling me that she wasn't going to wake up and that she wasn't really here anymore. I didn't know who these kids were. They were unfamiliar and were not anyone I had met before. I figured they must have come with one of the grown ups that were at our house. They annoyed me though, I mean, she was my sister, how did they know anything about her? I remember resting my face on her crib and looking at her sleeping so peacefully. The two children stayed close to me, and after a minute or two I left the room.
As an adult I can understand now that the grownups there were a mix of EMT's, someone from the coroners office, police, and I believe Jamie's pediatrician. I was discussing details of Jamie's passing with my mother one day, and I asked her about the children. I was curious of who's children they were. I mean, I knew an EMT wouldn't have brought their kids with them. She was confused and didn't know what kids I was talking about. I described them and explained to her what happened. She assured me that other than me, Jamie, and Chris (my brother who was less than 3) there were no other children in the house at the time of this happening.
I know they must have been angels sent to help me understand the situation. There's no other reasonable explanation.
She was a great little sister though. I only wish we would have had more time together. I miss her, but I know one day we'll be reunited.