I just had my sister on the phone, in floods of tears. I had sent her a dropbox link of the family photographs from last night; the last photos of the complete family together. And she looked at the actual physical state of my father, as opposed to the verbal description I have been giving her all this time, and she completely lost it. It is one thing to say that your father has lost his vital spark, that he is diminished, that he is now a totally different person. That is hard coming to terms with when you are on the spot. But to actually see evidence of it, when you live on the other side of the world and you last saw him hale and hearty: that is devastating.
I should have written first and told her, painted a visual picture. I did that for my younger brother, who totally failed to acknowledge anything I’ve sent to him, but I neglected her and I would have done it if I hadn’t been so tired from a really hard work day. No excuses; it makes me a shitty person.
I will write about last night and how it was wonderful and awful by turns but right now I don’t have the spare emotional change.
I just feel so bad for my sister.
*By the way, if the sister thing sounds surprising, she is my mother’s adopted out at birth child, eight years older than me, rediscovered when I was 21. Half sister would be a more accurate term but none of us ever think of her as that: she is Elizabeth and she is part of the family and the only reason she isn’t with us more often is that she has her own life and family on the other side of the world. She is no blood relation at all to my father but she holds him so very dear, and he does her as well.