I have said that for me, I can never break away from my past life, it will always pop up; at least as far as my sisters and brother are concerned. As the family was gathered at mom's bedside, it was a great opportunity to re-tell stories of our childhood and share our memories with mother. Those days of waiting at mother's hospital bed were a little shaky at first. Like when Kay and I walked into mom's room and there stood my oldest sister with her husband and my youngest sister. We chatted a few minutes and them Barb, stepped forward stretched our her hand in a very professional manner and introduced herself to me; "Hi my name is Barbara and this is my husband Jim." and then shook hands with Kay in the same business attitude. At which I said, " Barb, I have known you all my life!" which finally registered on the face that the person standing before her was her brother, who is now Sarah. I politely commented that I liked her new glasses and how she had changed since I saw her last. Then she said, " My, how you have changed". I could have said, "What makes you say that; is it my new breasts, or long hair, or could it have been how I was dressed?" But no, what I said was, "No Shit!" which was probable not a proper response; but there it hung in the air, like a cloud of deadly gas.
As the day's wore on and we finally were able to get mother home in her own home and bed, she seemed to relax and perk up once in a while; while still taking only small amounts of fluids. But as the weekend came, mom's house was once again filled with family, who wasn't shy about telling stories about everyone. It was weird, just a little to listen to my sisters stories about each other and about their brother John. Some tried to be polite and correct themselves and call me Sarah. But I had to remind them that their memories were with and about their brother John and that it was ok with me as that was who then knew, I wasn't known as Sarah then. I thanked them for trying to be correct my name, but my life and stories when I was growing up was with John. And that is Ok, and everyone had a different version of many stories about our family.
When my sister, Barbara was saying her good byes, she said that I was the same person that she knew and Sarah wasn't so bad; good starts to bringing families back together.
As the days of family grew quieter as everyone left, I can only hope and wish that during those short days I spent with my sisters and brother, that a shift has occurred and they had a good start of making new memories with Sarah. Lets hope we can build on that thought.