I was in the middle of directing and producing my last scene for the week on a show I helped create.
B cam - can we get a wide of everyone here
A - can you slowly get a single on her...
As the scene ended the crew looked and gave me the go ahead to say:
"Thats a wrap for week one everyone.. thank you again so much..."
As I waltzed back feeling like I was the shit, my other producer told me that I had a few missed called from what she presumed were my sisters and my mom. I told her they could wait as I was wanting to say goodbye to the family before we jotted off...actually our van was stuck in the mud but the producer insisted I give them a call back.
As I called my one sister I immediately heard it in her voice.....Dee's in the hospital.
My heart immediately sank. I for some reason did what ex athletes do when they need a breather and took a knee...followed by a dramatic collapse. It was my first time publicly crying and as the producer rushed over, I grasped onto her like I myself were clinging to life.
A moment that seemed like the start of a bustling career turned into a memory that I will truly never forget with feelings that continue to haunt me. My sister would eventually pass on the 21st with this being the call that started it all.
At first I couldn't even get on a plane to Georgia from Arkansas - so I worked with our coordinator to get me on the earliest possible flight. Once that was sorted out, I bribed a local cabby to take me to the airport at 3am. Mind you, a normal cab ride went for about $40 and even "its a family emergency" was still greeted with pushback because "we don't do no late night rides."
As I arrived at my layover in Atlanta, I met with my other sister who was also on her way. We were fortunate to have each other there but I realized I could not grieve as I had to keep my shit together for her. She was already a wreck so I decided that at 6am, it would be a delightful time to get her slightly inebriated. Mainly for the selfish reason of hoping she would fall asleep so I could sort out in my mind what the hell was going on.
This is where I will leave this... this is where I can admit my existential crisis truly began.
The idea that my sibling was in trouble. The idea that I have been a shitty person to my sibling. The idea that I have not been the best uncle to her children. Please don't die. Please give me an opportunity to help. To be more involved.
Its the ultimate perspective. Its my sibling. My blood. Why put up with a significant other that you cannot come to trust but put your sibling out because she's a whole lot of an occasional bitch from time to time, but at least she is honest. What do hundreds of miles mean when there are numerous forms of communication to reach out to your nephews and your sister.
Siblings can terrible and it may seem cliche... but you'll never feel 'home' during any family occasion when they are dead. I am trying my hardest to be the best possible uncle to my nephews. To speak positively about my sister. To think about moments, even childish fights, that we were involved in each other's lives. But it hurts to say I forget her voice most nights.....death is still something difficult to deal with and my sister is someone I think about daily. I do not want her to be proud of me per say... I want her to be proud that her sons are in good hands...that I was able to step up within my family, as the baby, and provide SOMETHING knowledgable, prophetic, or able to be used by her sons in their lives.
I know its still a work in progress.. I know I am still a work in progress.. The Journey Continues...